Elevated lead levels found in many schools’ drinking water are alarming. I reside in Leon country, where 14 out of 14 elementary schools tested had elevated lead levels. A child’s developing brain is highly susceptible to lead poisoning. Society was saddened at the effects lead contaminated water had on Michigan residents in 2014. Imagine the distress Floridians will have knowing their children may be ingesting this harmful metal while at school.
The Environmental Protection Agency has reported no amount of lead to be safe in drinking water. The consequences to children exposed to lead include brain damage, kidney damage, and a stunted IQ. Many children exposed to lead are unable to reach their full potential as adults.
Fortunately, adding filters to drinking fountains is simple. State Senator Janet Cruz has made a step in the right direction with Senate Bill 834. This bill will require Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability to investigate this issue. It is hypocritical to allow this brain poison in a place dedicated to child development and academic growth. The sensible action to install water filters in schools’ water fountains needs to be taken immediately.
Masters of Public Health candidate
Florida State University
This article originally appeared on The Apalachicola Times: Letter: Lead levels in drinking fountains 'alarming'