More Newark schools found with high levels of lead in drinking water

April 3, 2016 | By Garrett Montgomery More

More Newark schools have high levels of lead in their water, according to new data released by the Newark school district. Last month, officials had announced that at least 30 schools in Newark had levels of lead higher than the threshold of 15.5 parts per billion recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

More Newark schools

Data shows more Newark schools have high lead levels in their water.

The new data released on Thursday night comes one month after officials from the Newark school district revealed that they were shutting down drinking fountains, transportation hubs, athletic fields, and sinks in 30 schools, which had elevated levels.

The district also paid for blood tests of more than 17,000 students at those schools for lead. The news was reminiscent of the Flint water crisis where it has been confirmed that between 6,000 and 12,000 children have been exposed to drinking water with high levels of lead, and they may experience a range of serious health problems, which may result in a reduction in intellectual functioning, IQ, and academic performance.

This time around, they have found eight more schools/charter schools, which have contaminated water. Those numbers are especially worrisome at the Newark Legacy Charter School, which enrolls students from kindergarten through eighth grade, the West Side HS/Newark Evening HS, Samuel L Berliner, Paulo Freire Charter, West Side Park, and Marion Bolden Student Center.

Results of tests showed that the levels of lead in those schools are beyond the recommended threshold of 15.5 parts per billion, which is recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Unlike Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder, who refused to take action, New Jersey officials were quick to act. State lawmakers have called for requiring testing drinking water in all of New Jersey’s public schools.

New Jersey politicians have also proposed legislation that would allocate $3 million for testing and an additional $20 million for water filters.

The lawmakers said they have plans to address the larger and more expensive problem of replacing lead pipes and fixtures in schools after receiving the results of of the tests.

What are your thoughts on the Newark schools water crisis?


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