Friday, June 23, 2017

ALERT: Spring PGCPS Water Testing Shows High Lead Levels in DOZENS of Schools

unless you have confirmation it is lead free.
Talk to your child's doctor about getting a lead test done now. 
Recent Testing has found high levels of lead in PGCPS schools. 

We were just sent PGCPS lead water testing results from water testing done over the last few months after we filed a public information request. The test data we were sent confirms the fact that children and staff have been drinking water with lead levels that exceed EPA limits in many many schools. 

Why didn't PGCPS take action last year, when this issue came to light and parents began writing the county? Why did they wait? What aren't parents notified about this?

Please see the water testing results by clicking here. 
Read the letter that PGCPS sent me concerning these test levels.

Note, In their cover letter, PGCPS stated that some of these schools were on bottled water since 2009. This is noted with an asterix. We are not entirely sure this is the case because the bathroom sinks are still on and as far as we know there are not signs stating the water is for washing only.

Fort Washington forest *
Apple Grove Elementary,
Bond Mill Elementary*
C E Regional school,
Capitol Heights Elementary*
Chapel Forge,

Frances Fuchs (PGCPS wrote me that this school was on bottled water since 2009)
Gaywood Elementary*,
Glassmaker Elementary,
Heather Hills *
Issac J Gourdine Middle *
Frank Dent Elementary,
James Duckworth Elementary,
Jessie B Mason*
John Howard Elementary*
Margaret Brent Regional*
Maya Angelou French Immersion, 
Montpelier Elementary *
Oxen Hill Elementary*
Riverdale Elementary,
Rock ledge High,
Samuel Chase Elementary,

Tall Oaks Vocational*

These schools have lead levels, however the county is NOT remediating them  because of their inadequate and outdated limits which still allow lead levels into the water. 
Judith Hoyer Early Childhood, Exel Academy*
John Hanson Montessori*
As the water was previously turned off we are not sure of now the water is back on?
Cool Springs Elementary and Deerfieldrun Elementay * had levels under 3 

Tests done but lead levels missing from the documents
Pointer Ridge, Potomac High, Robert Godard Elementary , Woodmore Elementary, Dora Kennedy French Immersion

See an example below of lead testing levels found at Maya Angelou French Immersion.

These schools are not the only schools that have lead contaminated water., they are simply the only schools PGCPS has recently tested.  See past lead testing at this link.

Fact: Dozens of other schools have high lead levels that the County HAS NOT addressed adequately. Testing has not been done in years for most PGCPS schools. See past test reports here. 

How do I read these results? 
After the school name you follow the row to the end where there are two columns of numbers, the first number is the lead level when the water was first tried on. The second number is the second water draw after the water ran for a bit. The number is in ppb meaning parts per billion. 

What is a high level? 
The EPA health standard is 0 ppb. Therefore anything over 0 is not safe. HOWEVER PGCPS is using a limit of 10 ppb  , meaning they are allowing up to 10 ppb in their water.

The PGCPS allowable lead level of 10 ppb is NOT safe. 

We do not know how they came up with such a number, Washington DC public schools only allows a lead level of up to 1 ppb.  Read more about lead limits and safety standards here. 

What can I do? 
Contact the county and ask for immediate action. Tell the there is no safe level of lead and they need to immediately act to do the following:
1. PGPCS should set the allowable lead limits to 0ppb.
2. PGCPS should provide unlimited accessible bottled water to all children while fixing the problem.
3. PGCPS should remediate all water sources to 0.
4. Ensure that signs are up in bathrooms and at every water source that has lead contamination so children know not to cup hands and drink water from any faucets which have lead levels above 0.
5. No water source should be used for drinking or food preparation UNLESS a current test shows there is is 0 lead. At this point we must assume all water is lead contaminated until documentation of safety is shown by a current 2017 test.
6.Go to your pediatrician and share the lead tests results from your child's school and get your child tested for lead levels if they have been drinking lead contaminated water.
7. Write your Councilperson, Board member and elected officials asking for immediate action and cc us at 

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