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Report: 14 drinking fountains in Pittsburgh schools tested positive for elevated lead levels By Tony Raap | Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, 7:06 p.m. triblive.com

 

Report: 14 drinking fountains in Pittsburgh schools tested positive for elevated lead levels

http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/11229564-74/lead-district-levels

 

By Tony Raap | Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, 7:06 p.m.

 

Fourteen drinking fountains at Pittsburgh Public Schools tested positive for elevated levels of lead, according to a report the district released Thursday about the lead content of drinking water in its schools.

District officials said they replaced or removed faucets with high levels of lead and installed filtered water fountains and bottle-filling stations at all schools.

“Although there is no federal law requiring water testing, the safety of our students is a top priority,” said Ronald Joseph, the school district’s chief operations officer.

Of the 4,700 samples the district collected this summer from sinks and fountains at 70 facilities, 141, or 3 percent, indicated levels of lead higher than 20 parts per billion, the level at which the Environmental Protection Agency recommends taking action. High levels of lead can slow learning and development in children.

Langley K-8 in Sheraden had eight samples that showed elevated levels of lead, the most of any school in the district. No other school had more than four, according to the report.

Parents will receive a letter in the mail with their school’s results and a flier with answers to frequently asked questions.

Dr. Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny County Health Department, applauded the school district for being proactive in testing for elevated levels of lead. She urged families with concerns about lead exposure to seek testing through their water provider and health care providers.

The report’s findings are available on the district’s website, http://www.pps.k12.pa.us/qualityH2O.

Information about the effects of lead can be found on the county health department’s website, http://www.achd.net/lead/drinking-water.html.

Tony Raap is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7827 or traap@tribweb.com.

 

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