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We know that exposure to lead can affect how our children learn, think and behave. Yet every day, California kids go to schools where the drinking water is contaminated by lead.
Much more needs to be done, but the state Legislature took a step forward by approving $150 million for lead remediation in its 2020 school bond bill. If approved by voters, the funds will help districts conduct more thorough testing and replace contaminated pipes and fixtures for more than 2,000 water fountains.
A law spearheaded by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez requires schools to test for lead by the summer of 2019. New funding will help more schools act on the results.
"The American Academy of Pediatrics has said the lead standard for children’s drinking water should be no more than 1 part per billion," said Laura Deehan, CALPIRG public health advocate. "The Legislature should adopt this standard statewide.” The current standard is 15 parts per billion.
Photo: Though the American Academy of Pediatrics says children's drinking water should contain no more than 1 part per billion of lead, California's standard allows 15. Credit: Photos by Clark via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0
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