Drinking water to be tested for lead in California schools

SACRAMENTO (KGTV) -- The State Superintend of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, announced Thursday that some California schools will undergo lead testing.

Schools build before 2010 will be tested for lead in drinking water before July of 2019.

“Students need fresh water, nutritious meals, and regular physical activity to be ready to learn and succeed in class,” Torlakson said. “Cooperation with local water systems is critical to ensure proper testing.”

In 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that requires community water systems statewide to complete lead testing in older schools.

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In 2017, the safety of drinking water was called into question after elevated levels of lead were found at three campuses within the San Ysidro School District.

Lead can be found in drinking water due to pipes and hardware leaching into the water. According to officials, California generally has newer water infrastructure than other parts of the country.

Lead can cause behavioral problems and learning disabilities. Children six years old and younger are most at risk due to brain development.

Anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of total lead exposure for young children comes from drinking water, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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