The Environmental Defense Fund is calling on child-care-center operators to take steps to make sure the water at their facilities is not contaminated with lead, a neurotoxin known to cause behavior and learning problems.
Researchers with the defense fund oversaw water tests from 11 child-care facilities in four states, using stricter standards than those required by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Though most of the water tested came back lead-free, some had lead levels above 3.8 parts per billion, the defense fund’s action level, and some exceeded the EPA’s 20 parts per billion. Both the defense fund and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there are no safe levels of lead exposure.
Despite the health risks, the study notes that only seven states and New York City require licensed child-care facilities to conduct testing for lead in drinking water.
A version of this article appeared in the September 05, 2018 edition of Education Week as Advocacy Group Urges Testing Water For Lead at Child-Care Centers