Parents and Activists in Oakland urge Schools to Eliminate Lead from Drinking Water.

Community activists and parents in Oakland, California have asked school officials to develop policies that will make sure all students can access safe drinking water. The concern was aroused by recent test results that the showed water outlets at seven schools had significant quantities of lead. One of the students’ parents, Vien Truong, was among the individuals who complained about the situation. She said that families already have a lot to worry about and they should not be bothered by the fear of children having toxic drinking water in schools. Roseann Torres, who is a board member at the school, said that she hopes the panel will vote this year to implement regular testing conditions and the maximums lead levels that are acceptable in school drinking water.

The schools that are affected were established in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, and therefore, their pipes are quite old. The tests result indicated that water at seven Oakland-based learning institutions had lead levels that exceeded that the federal guideline’s maximum threshold of 15 parts per billion. Water that was being dispensed from a kitchen at the Glenview Elementary School had 60 parts per billion. These quantities are quite high, and it is necessary to take action. According to spokesman John Sasaki, the district is currently conducting tests on the water that is dispensed from taps in many other schools. He said that the authorities have fixed or closed all the outlets that were found to have lead levels that are beyond the acceptable federal limits.

Activists groups that include CalPIRG, a consumer rights organization, have urged the district to ensure that all the old pipes and fittings that contain lead are replaced. They also demanded that drinking water taps must have filters and regular tests be done. According to Torres, the schools should use the San Diego school district as a perfect example. The officials of the district have set the maximum lead threshold at five parts per billion instead of using the federal guideline’s limit of 15 parts per billion. A health advocate at CalPIRG, Jason Pfeifle, argues that recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics require the maximum amount of lead in the school water to 1 part per billion. Lead is highly toxic, and it has a negative impact on the IQ of a child. It accumulates in crucial body parts such as the liver, bones, and brain.


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