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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. 
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!
We want to lend you, for free, an EPA approved tool that will allow you to check your school’s drinking water for lead. Click here to borrow the equipment.
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Did you know that the amount of lead in drinking water in many cities is worse than the amount that was found in Flint, Michigan water? Just one example: 3 out of every 10 homes tested in Chicago over the past several years were found to have levels of lead over federal limits. 
Even during the emergency concerning lead in drinking water in Flint, Michigan, no agency conducted methodical and comprehensive testing of the drinking water in that city’s schools!
Click here to see just a few of many existing stories about schools with high lead content in their water.
The risk of lead being in a building’s plumbing is highest if the school was built before 1930. Schools built between 1930 and the early 1980’s are the second most likely to have issues, while those built after the 1980’s are thought to have the lowest risk.
Lead in drinking water can come from old pipes in the city system, or from an old school’s indoor plumbing, and even from specific parts of rather new drinking fountains. In schools built after the early 1980s, the issues seem to involve one in eight drinking fountains, which, by the way, can be upgraded for little money.
When was your school built?
When parents or teachers ask about testing schools’ drinking water for lead, they are often discouraged by administrators who tell them that this sampling would cost a fortune.
Fortunately, this is not accurate.
There are two ways to approach lead testing.
The first is to do a comprehensive FDA approved lab-based testing at a cost of around $50.00 per sample. One sample is taken from every drinking fountain, and from all faucets in kitchen areas where food is prepared. Samples are then sent to the lab and returned several weeks later with the results.
The second is to do a survey using equipment like the type we lend you for free. These meters will give you immediate findings. If any are suspicious just send those few to the $50.00 laboratory.
If you would like to discuss how to borrow our equipment, just fill out the form here, and give us a way to reach out to you. We will brief you on how to use the meter, and how to invest a Saturday morning with students sampling your school’s water. You will be protecting the kids, and saving the school system money.
To learn more about the issue of lead in school drinking water, click here.
Make a donation to support our work by clicking here.
Trust me – if you do not survey your school’s water, no one will.
You can learn a lot more about pollution in schools and its impact on our kids by visiting our website https://thepollutiondetectives.org, where you will find all the research that our effort is based on, information about the tools we lend, see what other students and parents have found, and, most importantly, learn how you can join our effort.
Authored by Francis Koster Ed. D. and Jean Kadela