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Chris Phelps,
Environment Connecticut

New “back to school” item for parents: toolkit to Get the Lead Out of schools’ drinking water

For Immediate Release

Hartford, CT – With “back to school” in full swing this week, Environment Connecticut Research and Policy Center today offered a new toolkit to help parents, teachers, and administrators Get the Lead Out of schools’ drinking water.  Citing a lack of accurate information on lead contamination in water and how schools should prevent it, Environment Connecticut encouraged parents and teachers to put the new toolkit on their “back to school” reading list.

“Our kids deserve safe drinking water at school,” said Environment Connecticut State Director Chris Phelps.  “We want to give parents, teachers, and school administrators the tools they need to ‘get the lead out.’”

More and more schools are finding lead in their water.  For example, In Massachusetts, for example, tests found lead in schools’ water at roughly half of 67,000 taps tested.

Moreover, such confirmed cases of lead-laced water are likely just the tip of the iceberg. As noted in the toolkit, most schools built before 2014 have plumbing and/or fixtures that can leach lead into drinking water.  And at some older schools, the service lines that bring water from the mains in the street into buildings are made entirely of lead.

Environment Connecticut’s toolkit includes a factsheet, a video, sample materials to press for action, and links to additional resources, especially on technical questions like proper testing.

School districts are largely left to address lead contamination on their own, as current state law does little to prevent children’s drinking water from becoming laced with lead at school. Earlier this year, Environment Connecticut gave Connecticut a GRADE OF F in addressing this threat to children’s health.

 “No parent should have to worry about their child drinking water with lead,” said Phelps. “We have got to do better.  We owe it to our kids.”