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.
State Policies on Testing Drinking Water for Lead in U.S. Schools
Early Adopters: Current Practices and Preliminary Findings in States Adopting School-Based Water Quality Testing Programs
The goals of this project are: 1) to provide a descriptive assessment of the current methodologies used in state-based school water quality testing programs compared to recommended standard surveillance elements; and 2) to summarize water lead content data derived from state testing programs and present and evaluate data by school … More
Strong nutrition standards for school meals, consistent with evidence-based recommendations, position children for optimal health and wellbeing. Strong science supports the link between lowering sodium intake and better health. This new issue brief from Healthy Eating Research examines the recent history of sodium standards for school meals. It highlights current sodium intake … More
Drinking water access in California schools: Room for improvement following implementation of school water policies
This study aimed to investigate how access to free drinking water in California public schools changed after implementation of 2010 federal and state school water policies. Repeated cross-sectional surveys were conducted with administrators in a random sample of California public schools, stratified by school type and urban-centric geography, from 2010 … More