Published: January 2019

ID #: CAS048

Publisher: Healthy Eating Research

Authors: Cradock AL, Poole MK, Vollmer LY, Barrett JL, Flax CN, Hecht CA

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This Brief summarizes select characteristics of state-level policies and programs to test for lead in school drinking water. It is based on a study from researchers at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the University of California Nutrition Policy Institute. The full results of the study, study methods, and state profiles are available through Harvard. Researchers found that many students in the U.S. attend public schools in states where not all taps are tested for lead. Currently, there is no uniformity in states’ approaches to create and oversee programs to test for elevated lead in school drinking water. In states where water was testing and data were publicly available, nearly half of the schools identified one or more water source with elevated levels of lead. Ongoing monitoring and standardized practices for testing water are needed, and financial and technical assistance could help support more states in adopting recommended programs and practices to limit lead exposure in school drinking water.

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