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EPA and Partners Take Action to Reduce Lead Levels in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities

Release Date: 06/15/2005
Contact Information:


Contact: Dale Kemery, 202-564-4355 / kemery.dale@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C.-- 06/15/05) Through education and outreach, child care facilities and schools will be assisted by EPA and its partners to understand and reduce children's lead exposure from drinking water.

The Department of Education, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Water Works Association, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, National Association of Water Companies, National Rural Water Association, Association of State Drinking Water Administrators, and Environmental Protection Agency signed a partnership agreement, which focuses attention on testing drinking water for lead in schools and child care facilities.

"EPA's goal is to emphasize prevention by focusing on three T's: testing, telling, and training," said Benjamin Grumbles, assistant administrator for the Office of Water. "This agreement is a big step toward meeting our goal."

Deborah Price, assistant deputy secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools at the U.S. Department of Education, added: "We're pleased to be working in a coordinated effort with the EPA and the CDC for the benefit of keeping children healthy. Schools will receive beneficial direction from this partnership so that they can understand and reduce children's lead exposure from drinking water."

The signatories agreed to encourage schools and child care facilities to test drinking water for lead; disseminate results to parents, students, staff, and other interested stakeholders; and take appropriate and necessary actions to correct problems.

Children's exposure to lead is a significant health concern and may include impaired mental development. Because children spend a significant part of their day in schools and child care facilities, understanding and reducing lead exposures in those facilities is especially important to EPA and its partners.

To access a copy of the agreement, go to: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lcrmr/lead_review.html#schools .

For more general information on lead in drinking water, go to: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead .