More DeKalb County schools test positive for lead in water

 

Lead was found in water samples at Rowland and Pleasantdale elementary schools and the Margaret Harris Comprehensive School, DeKalb County School District officials said late Monday.

The school district posted testing reports from six schools. Of those, no lead above the Environmental Protection Agency’s action level of 15 parts per billion was discovered at Evansdale and Jolly elementary schools and Coralwood Education Center.

The EPA limits lead levels to 15 parts per billion. School water fountains should not exceed lead concentrations of 1 part per billion, recommends the American Society of Pediatrics, saying even low lead levels could affect behavior and learning. Old pipes contribute to lead levels, and water left sitting in pipes can further elevate numbers.

No Georgia law requires testing water for lead in schools or day care centers.

Chief Operating Officer Joshua Williams said in September, when testing was announced, that elementary schools will be among the first tested, given priority because of those students’ ages. The district’s 106 buildings built before 1986 are at high risk, as lead was legally used during construction. Lead levels depend on several factors, including the water temperature as well as how long it sits in pipes.

Recently, Atlanta Public Schools found elevated lead levels in some of its buildings, too.

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