The report shows that water in dozens of Philadelphia schools is contaminated with lead Philadelphia

Dozens of schools in Philadelphia An environmental report found that they suffer from lead contamination in their water mains, which could expose tens of thousands of students to toxins that have been shown to cause learning and behavior problems as well as health problems, including damage to internal organs.

The Philadelphia School Board is challenging the findings PennPirg study (Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group), insisting that there are systems in place that prevent students and staff from drinking contaminated water, and that any lead outflow that exceeds the allowable limits is closed immediately.

But the study’s authors say the data they’ve reviewed so far is “just the tip of the iceberg” of the problem in a school district of nearly 200,000 students, and calls for replacing each drinking fountain with water bottle filling stations and filtration systems to be installed in kitchens and other rooms where water is used for consumption.

“Philadelphia children deserve safe drinking water, especially in schools where they go to study and play every day. As these data show, it is important that decision-makers in Philadelphia take immediate action to highlight the initiative, ”the study said.

PennPirg has reviewed data provided by the school district under the 2017 law, which requires lead testing at every campus at least every five years, and the results must be publicly available.

But the group said that by the beginning of this month, after a four-year cycle, only 29% of the district’s 323 schools had posted information online covering drinking fountains, kitchen faucets, hydration stations and sinks in classrooms and bathrooms.

Based on these data, the study found that 61% of the 1932 outlets tested showed lead contamination of more than one part per billion, and in the 65 schools for which data were available, 98% had at least one outlet with pollution exceeding this level.

One outlet at Tanner G Duckrey Public School, a campus from pre-school to 8th grade in northern Philadelphia, showed a lead level of 8,768 parts per billion.

Prolonged dirty water crisis in Flint, Michiganconducted a new survey of water pollution levels across the country, and the Joe Biden administration promised to make the issue a priority by announcing ambitious plans in December replace 100% lead pipes in homes across the country.

“The science of lead is regulated – there is no safe level of exposure, and it’s time to eliminate that risk to support thriving people and living communities,” Environment Agency (EPA) administrator Michael S. Time said in a statement.

But critics noted that there was no plan to reduce the existing “acceptable” level of lead in the water under the Donald Trump-era rule of 15 parts per billion, and that the timing of the pipe replacement was not announced. In addition, they feared that areas with economic unfitness and large populations of racial minorities would be forgotten.

“Children, especially between the ages of one and seven, and especially colored children and people from low-income communities, are among those most vulnerable to toxins and environmental influences of all kinds,” Jerry said. Roseman, director of environmental and occupational safety at the Philadelphia Teachers Federation.

“Poor conditions in many school premises continue to exist and pose a risk to the health of students as well as staff; Ensuring that adequate, accessible and lead-free drinking water is readily available to all students and other residents of the school is an absolute requirement for every school in Philadelphia. ”

У ABC News statementThe Philadelphia School District said the study “is not an accurate reflection of the water quality that students and staff in our district have access to every day.

“In the event that a water outlet in the outlet is set at 10 parts per billion or higher required in Philadelphia for a drinking water threshold for a school, the outlet closes immediately.

“The district is closing these outlets both because it is required by city and EPA regulations and to prevent students or staff from using or absorbing contaminated water.”

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