Exploris Middle School Students Test Their School Drinking Water For Lead

Exploris Middle School students in Raleigh N.C. surveyed fourteen water fountains for lead in the water using EPA approved meters we loan for free.  (You can borrow them by clicking here.)

The students carefully documented every step in their process with photographs of where samples were taken, when, and the resulting meter results.  You can see their impressive report here.

According to Education Week magazine, there are over 100,000 K-12 school buildings in the United States.  About half are over 44 years old and roughly one-third of them have serious plumbing issues, including those that add lead to drinking and cooking water.[1]  The last time serious updates to federal regulations governing new plumbing installations were made was roughly 30 years ago – long before the lessons of Flint Michigan were learned![2]

If half our schools are over 44 years old and our current lead levels were set 31 years ago, there is potential for unsafe levels of lead to be present in a majority of our schools. You can find out about a number of issues involved in lead in school drinking water by visiting our website www.thepollutiondetectives.org (Look at the bottom right box.)

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The average American eats the equivalent of a credit card-sized amount of plastic a week!

The average American eats the equivalent of a credit card-sized amount of plastic a week! [1]

According to a 2018 report released by The National Ocean Service (a part of the U.S, Department of Commerce) “about 300 million tons of plastic is produced globally each year”. Only about 10 percent of that is recycled. Of the plastic that is simply trashed, an estimated eight million tons ends up in the sea each year. [2][3] And it winds up in the flesh of the fish you eat.

Researchers at the National University of Ireland in Galway have been studying ocean fish in the North Atlantic to find out how much plastic is in their flesh. They discovered that “73 percent of 233 deep-sea fish” contain microplastic, or small plastic pieces less than 5 millimeters long. [4]

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You can test your school for lead in the drinking water!

Children who consume even small amounts of lead in drinking water lose IQ points for life. In addition, lead in children’s brains (shown here in orange) reduces their impulse control. Individuals with lead in their brains are imprisoned at four times the rate of their generation who have no lead.[1]  [2]

Surprisingly, there are no federal requirements for schools to test their drinking water for lead contamination, and only 7 states require any form of inspection at all; you can click here to see that list.

No one checks the schools in the other 43 states!

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