This year, 17 water sources at a dozen D.C.-area schools tested positive for elevated lead levels. The school system has been harshly criticized in recent weeks for failing to inform parents when their child’s school tested positive for elevated levels, and is now responding by launching further testing.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lead levels in schools are not allowed to exceed 20 parts per billion (ppb) in a 250-ml bottle. If a water source is found to be contaminated, agencies are required to shut off the water supply, add new filters, and retest the water until the lead concentration returns to normal levels.
One city leader has called D.C.’s annual testing “outrageous,” claiming that the sampling method wasn’t being used on all water sources.
Throughout this month, D.C. schools will be retested for lead from all water sources, including water fountains, hoses, and sinks. They will also test water sources at city recreation centers before summer camp programs begin this June.
Capital Hill Montessori at Logan, Miner Elementary School, and Payne Elementary School will have their students tested for exposure to lead. The results of the tests will be released in June at a joint public hearing. David Grosso, chair of the D.C. Council’s Education Committee, has vowed that all parties will be held accountable for failing to take prompt action to protect school children.
Lead is toxic to humans, especially to children, who absorb 50 percent of the lead they swallow in water (adults only absorb 10 percent). Lead is dangerous because the body mistakes it for calcium. When lead takes the place of calcium, brain cells are less able to communicate one another. Over time, this can lead to headaches, developmental problems, behavioral problems, and brain damage, which can affect things like language skills, impulsive behavior, and difficulty retaining new information. There is no way to reverse the damage done by lead.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a Washington, DC personal injury attorney at The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson M.D., J.D. & Associates, please call us at (202) 223-4488.
Dr. Michael M. Wilson is an attorney and a physician who earned his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his legal and medical degrees from Georgetown University. He has focused in the area of medical malpractice for more than three decades and secured more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts on behalf of clients throughout the country. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and New York as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is listed in America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.