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County Democrats Propose Fund to Help Schools Test for Lead in Water System

essentialTOPtempCounty Democrats Propose j and d adFund to Help Schools Test for Lead in Water System

(Oakland County Democrats, May 19, 2016)

 

Oakland County, MI – Yesterday, Oakland County Commissioner Dave Woodward (D-Royal Oak) announced a plan to introduce a proposal to fund lead and copper testing of county schools and childcare centers (including day cares, preschools, and Head Start programs.) and calling for the creation of the Oakland County Kids’ Safe Drinking Water Fund.

“There’s nothing more important than the health and safety of our children,” Woodward said. “We can’t afford to wait to protect all Oakland County kids, and that’s why we believe the red door club adtesting should be done before the start of the next school year.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, young children, especially under the age of six, process lead differently than adults. Their growing bodies tend to absorb and withhold more lead, putting them at higher risk of lead contamination. Even at low levels of lead exposure, children may experience lower IQ levels, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, and poor classroom performance.

Regular testing of drinking water in schools and childcare centers is a well-established best practice.

“This is a public health issue, lead poisoning is permanent,” Oakland County Commissioner Gershenson (D-Bloomfield Hills). “If this initiative discovers just one school or childcare center with elevated levels of lead in the drinking water it will be worth it.”
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Elevated levels of lead and copper have been identified in drinking water in Oakland county schools, including schools in Rochester, Farmington Hills, and Southfield.

The Oakland County Kids’ Safe Drinking Water Initiative:
`Creates the $500,000 Oakland County Kid’s Safe Drinking Water Fund
`Direct the Oakland County Health Division to develop the protocols required to be eligible for reimbursement in the next 30 days
`Oakland County school districts and childcare facilities would be eligible to receive reimbursements for testing drinking water using approved vendors
`Testing m1_two toneurged to be completed before Labor Day, Monday, September 5, 2016
`Test results will be posted on a county website and other public sites

Currently, schools and childcare facilities are not required to test drinking water for lead and other toxic chemical. State legislation is pending that would require testing, and provide some funding for schools, but not for childcare facilities. The Oakland County Board of Commissioners supports the state legislation; however, funding for the state’s effort, if passed, would not be available until after schools restart this Fall.

The proposal was sent to the Oakland County Board of Commissioners’ Finance Committee for further consideration.

Editor’s Note:  The Oakland County 115 News reached out to local school districts to learn if FerndalePrideAD_resized_adthey had been testing and what the results were. See that information at http://oaklandcounty115.com/2016/04/27/oakland-county-schools-vary-on-testing-for-lead-in-water/.

Other related stories:

http://oaklandcounty115.com/2016/02/23/msu-extension-creates-resource-about-lead-exposure/

http://oaklandcounty115.com/2016/04/25/plans-in-the-works-to-test-water-for-lead-in-oakland-county-schools/

http://oaklandcounty115.com/2016/01/13/water-resources-commissioner-jim-nash-talks-about-water-quality-video/

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