From: Robina Suwol
Date: 25 Oct 2002
Remote Name: 126.96.36.199
New Website Launched for Schools and Daycare Centers
to Encourage Testing for Lead in Drinking Water
Contact: Bonnie Smith (215) 814-5543
October 21, 2002 PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is encouraging schools and daycare centers to test drinking water in their facilities for lead. To assist in this effort, EPA has developed a new website about lead in drinking water risks, assessment, and testing. The website is http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead/schoolanddccs.htm Health effects of lead poisoning are most severe for infants and children, which is why EPA is focusing on schools and daycare centers. Exposure to high levels of lead in drinking water can result in delays in mental or physical development. EPA recommends that water outlets be tested for lead contamination, particularly water used for drinking water and other food or formula preparation. Donald S. Welsh, mid-atlantic regional administrator said, "We hope this new website will be helpful for school administrators, day care owners, teachers, and care givers in answering questions about lead in drinking water." The most common cause of lead in drinking water is corrosion, a reaction between the water and the lead in pipes, solder, and brass fixtures and valves. Acidity (low pH), low mineral content, and higher temperatures can contribute to corrosive water. Lead in drinking water is not a problem for only old or only new buildings. Lead solder with more than 0.2% lead and plumbing with more than 8% lead were banned in 1987. Buildings did not have to be built with certified lead-free fixtures until 1997. The only way to know if there is lead in the drinking water is to test each specific location. Is there Lead in the Drinking Water? You can reduce the risk of lead exposure from drinking water in educational facilities, a new brochure, can be downloaded from EPA's web site at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/Pubs/standards.html#lead1 . October is Children's Health Month. In October, and throughout the year, EPA encourages citizens to discover the rewards of knowing how to protect children's health.