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With “back to school” in full swing, the Arizona PIRG Education Fund released a free toolkit to help parents, guardians, teachers and administrators Get the Lead Out of school drinking water.
Diane E. Brown, Executive Director of the Arizona PIRG Education Fund said there is a “lack of accurate information on lead contamination in schools throughout our state.” Brown noted that although Arizona uses a stronger standard (15 parts per billion) than the federal government (20 parts per billion), the current regulations are too weak to protect children. The Arizona PIRG Education Fund supports a one part per billion standard for lead in schools’ drinking water, which is also what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends.
“Lead is a potent neurotoxin, affecting the way children learn, grow, and behave,” Brown added. “Children deserve safe drinking water. The Toolkit provides parents, teachers, and administrators with tools they need to ‘get the lead out’ at school.”
The Toolkit includes a factsheet, video, sample call-to-action materials and links to additional resources. The toolkit also answers technical questions such as how to evaluate test results and which solutions work best to prevent contamination.
As noted in the toolkit, most schools have fountains, solder, or other metal items that can leach lead into drinking water. Brown concluded, “currently documented cases of lead contamination are likely just the tip of the iceberg.”
In a report earlier this year, the Arizona PIRG Education Fund assigned Arizona a grade of “D” in addressing this threat to children’s health.
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