Lead continues to contaminate Arizona schools’ drinking water

Testing a school’s drinking water isn’t enough to keep schoolchildren safe.

Arizona PIRG often points to a report by the Arizona Dept. of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), which states that of the taps ADEQ tested at schools in Arizona, lead was detected in the water at 48 percent.

The state maintains that only four percent of Arizona schools have fixtures requiring remediation, and according to its standard of 15 parts per billion (ppb), that may be true. But, the American Academy of Pediatrics holds that schools should not allow levels exceeding 1 ppb. So far, the state has failed to get the lead out.

“Arizona is still not doing enough to protect our kids from lead in drinking water,” said Arizona PIRG Executive Director Diane E. Brown. “Arizona needs policies that actually get the lead out of faucets and fountains in our schools and preschools.”

Lead exposure can impair learning, growth and behavioral development in youth.

Read our Get The Lead Out toolkit.

Photo: If your child’s school installed its faucets, fountains or plumbing before 2014, there’s a risk of lead contamination—even if a few tests failed to detect it. Credit: Sulfur via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0