Lead has been found in the drinking water of five more Austin schools. That’s according to new data obtained by Environment Texas (via an open records request) from the Austin Independent School District. This new data follows the discovery last September that other nine local schools and activity centers also tested positive for lead.
Why is lead such a big concern?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, exposure to lead in children can “cause irreversible cognitive and behavioral problems…including lower IQ scores and academic performance, inattention, impulsivity, aggression and hyperactivity.”
Even though the lead levels found in AISD schools is fairly low (below the levels at which the EPA requires action), the American Academy of Pediatrics has been calling on the federal government to enact stricter standards, saying that lead in schools shouldn’t exceed more than one part per billion.
- Boone Elementary School
- Patton Elementary School
- Bailey Middle School
- Covington Middle School
- Lanier High School
- Ridgetop Elementary School
- Sanchez Elementary School
- Widén Elementary School
- Zavala Elementary School
- Pleasant Hill Elementary School
- Barrington Elementary School
- Burger Activity Center
- Becker House
- Noack Sports Complex
In response to the lead discovery, AISD is installing filters or replacing the water fountains at all of the affected schools.
But Environment Texas is calling on the school district to take things a step further. After attention was drawn to the lead issue last September, AISD they would test every water fountain in all of their schools over the next three years. The new data released by Environment Texas reveals that about 19 percent of schools have been tested so far.
- Get the latest testing data up on their website right away and let parents know it’s there
- Test every water fountain in every school this summer before kids return to classes
- Immediately comply with Environment Texas’ open records request for copies of internal communications about lead testing
- Identify pipes, plumbing, fountains and/or fixtures that contain lead and come up with plans to remove them.