California Schools May Be Required To Test Their Water

A therapy dog at an elementary school in San Diego recently refused to drink from a water fountain. This was when school officials realized that there was something wrong with the water. The water was tested, and it had polyvinyl chloride in it. This is a polymer that develops when PVC pipes deteriorate. However, that was not the only thing wrong with the water.

The test also revealed that the water had lead in it. The San Diego Cooperative Charter School is not the only school that has issues with water quality. There have been several schools tested in San Diego and Los Angeles. Many of the schools had lead in their water.

Additionally, many of the children who attend these schools have high levels of lead in their bodies. Lead is considered a neurotoxin. It can lead to brain damage and developmental disorders. Any amount of lead can threaten the health of humans.

Many legislators in California fear that many children who have been exposed to lead will not be tested for it. Physicians will typically only recommend that children be tested for lead if they in a house that is over 40-years-old with peeling paint. Testing is also recommended for people who are receiving public assistance.

Public schools in California can have their water tested for free. However, they are not required to do this. California legislators are pushing a bill that will require all schools to be tested for lead. They are also pushing a bill that will require physicians to ask patients questions about their lead exposure.

According to the Department of Public Health, 2 percent of children in this state have high levels of lead in their bodies. However, there are some areas in California where lead problems are worse. There is an area in Freson where 14 percent of children have high levels of lead in their bodies. These statistics are based on a survey that was conducted in 2012.

Bill Quirk is the chairman of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Testing Materials. He stated that he hopes that the bills will encourage more people to get tested for lead. There was a bill proposed that required every healthcare provider to test children for lead, but it was shot down. The American Academy of Pediatrics and California Medical Association did not agree with the bill because testing would be too expensive.