Officials call for statewide lead testing in schools

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Department of Health recommends every school test its water for lead after the state found contamination in 16 schools.

Vermont Public Radio reported Thursday that test results released this week show each of the 16 schools had at least 1 part per billion of lead in the drinking water. Five schools had levels at or above 15 parts per billion, which is the Environmental Protection Agency's "action level."

Lead is a toxic metal and the state says there is no safe level in the body. Children exposed to lead can suffer developmental and behavioral problems.

While the report recommends testing, it acknowledges the state does not have the resources available to visit every school and conduct testing. Schools wanting to do their own test would pay about $12 per sample.

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