Lead Test Results From Vt. Schools, Child Care Centers Available For Public To Search
The Scott administration has created a website to monitor the testing of lead levels in schools and child care centers. To date, five schools and 300 child care centers have been tested — and roughly 10% of the tested child care centers had at least one water source that exceeded legal limits, while every tested school had at least one water source above what's permitted.
This update on testing results so far was issued during a press conference Wednesday morning in Montpelier.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE STATE'S LEAD TEST RESULTS WEBSITE
Following a 2017-2018 pilot program that tested for (and detected) lead in the water at 16 Vermont schools, state lawmakers passed a bill this session calling for every facility to be tested. The state has allocated $1 million to help schools replace faulty fixtures.
The state's threshold for lead is 4 parts per billion, which means it is a stricter standard than the federal "action level" of 15 parts per billion.
"There's no safe level of lead in the human body at any age," said Vermont Health Commissioner Mark Levine. "Lead is a neurotoxin — exposure to lead can slow down a child's physical growth but it also can cause developmental, learning and behavioral problems."
Officials said Wednesday that when a facility fails to meet the standard, it's usually because a single water fountain or faucet fails, not the school's or center's entire water system. That makes remediation easier, as a single new fixture can be installed rather than a total replacement of pipes.
The findings provided by state leaders Wednesday only represents a fraction of the locations around Vermont that will ultimately be tested for lead; according to a press release from the governor's office, about 440 schools and more than 1,200 child care facilities are set to have each drinking or cooking tap tested by December 2020.
The state's lead results website allows users to search by school or provider name, location and type. Levine said it's important for parents to be able to easily access the results of their local facilities.