New 'Toolkit' Helps Schools Get the Lead Out

Removing lead from water supplies can ensure children's health, experts say

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THURSDAY, Feb. 9, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Experts at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are offering schools and child-care facilities a new "toolkit" to help reduce lead in their drinking water.

The kit includes materials to help schools and child-care facilities to implement a voluntary training, and "testing and telling" strategy.

"Our drinking water tools for schools teach lead prevention through action and awareness. This new and improved guidance will help students, teachers and parents have confidence in the quality of their school's tap water," Benjamin H. Grumbles, EPA's assistant administrator for water, said in a prepared statement.

The kit explains how to test for lead in drinking water; report results to parents, students, staff and others; take action to correct problems.

It also includes an update to a 1994 EPA technical guidance to help schools design and implement testing programs. The steps include:

  • collecting information on school drinking water and identifying assistance to implement a school lead control program.
  • developing a plumbing profile.
  • developing a drinking water testing plan.
  • testing a facility's drinking water for lead.
  • correcting problems when elevated lead levels are found.
  • communicating with the school community about a school lead-control program.

The U.S. Department of Education will help promote and distribute the drinking water toolkit to schools.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about lead.

SOURCE: EPA, news release, Jan. 26, 2006

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