High Lead Levels Found in Newark School Water
Elevated lead levels recorded in the water of Newark, New Jersey schools could result in blood tests for as many as 17,000 students.
Lead Issues Come to Light
According to Reuters, the lead issues date back to 2004 when some remedial actions were taken. Earlier this week, officials recognized that the lead problem has been a plague on the area since 2012.
Data taken by the district’s independent laboratory revealed that 12 percent of 2,067 water quality samples collected between 2012 and 2015 contained lead levels above the federal limit. Such levels require action, but none was taken until Christopher Cerf became the new state-appointed school superintendent and was apprised of the situation.
While he declined to comment on why his predecessors had neglected to respond to the issue, he declared that within an hour of finding out about the lead levels he had notified officials and directed staff to get in contact with the State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Plan of Action
While the DEP has confirmed that they haven’t found lead in the Newark water supply, the issue has aroused comparisons with the crisis in Flint.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has testified that the contamination is the result of the cumulative failures of the local, state, and federal governments. The state DEP intends to test the water at all 67 Newark public, beginning with 13 charter schools and non-traditional school buildings such as athletic facilities which had not been tested this year.
They will then proceed to retest the 30 school buildings where the lead levels were found to be above the federal level. Thankfully, the majority of the water taps with the highest levels were not those typically used for drinking or food preparation.
As many as 17,000 students in Newark, New Jersey schools may receive blood tests to determine their lead levels following the toxic results.