Lead

Water Unsafe For Drinking Sign

When it comes to chemicals, lead has one of the strongest links to neurological harm. In fact, everyone agrees that there is NO SAFE LEVEL of lead exposure for children.

Lead is a potent neurotoxin that can cause learning disabilities, lower IQ, behavior and other permanent cognitive (brain) impacts, even at low levels of exposure.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and other experts say that there is NO safe level of lead for children. APP also states that “schools water fountains in schools do not exceed water lead concentrations of more than 1 part per billion”.The US EPA’s guideline of 15 parts per billion (it’s lead and copper rule for public drinking water supplies) is not health-protective, it is more of that is considered an attainable limit. The EPA and CDC acknowledge that the goal should be zero. “Because no safe blood level has been identified for young children, all sources of lead exposure for children should be controlled or eliminated. EPA has set the maximum contaminant level goal for lead in drinking water at zero because lead can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels.”

Read about lead and other heavy metals in baby and toddler food.

National experts in education, child care and children’s health issue joint call to get lead out of schools and child care facilities, which enroll more than 66 million children in the U.S.

The report, “Eliminating Lead Risks in Schools and Child Care Facilities,” outlines strategies to ensure lead-free learning environments and prevent risks to significant numbers of children across the country. The report is the result of a workshop convened by the Learning Disabilities Association of America, Children’s Environmental Health Network and Healthy Schools Network.

“Lead has no place in learning environments. Even low levels of lead are linked to learning disabilities, attention problems and IQ deficits,” said Maureen Swanson, Healthy Children Project Director, Learning Disabilities Association of America. “Getting lead out of schools and child care facilities is doable and will protect children where they spend hours each day learning, playing and growing.”

Workshop participants included representatives of the American Federation of Teachers, National Association of School Nurses, the School Superintendents Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Association of Family Child Care, National Association for the Education of Young Children, Child Care Aware of America, American Public Health Association, National Medical Association, Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, and several federal agencies, along with organizations working to address lead in paint, water, building materials and products.

Resources

Eliminating Lead Risks in Schools and Child Care Facilities: A United and Urgent Call to Action for Children (2018)

Click here for an article in the Journal of American Medicine, based on Project Tendr’s recommendations, on “Establishing and Achieving National Goals for Preventing Lead Toxicity and Exposure in Children.”

Click here for More on Project Tendr and their consensus statement.

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Tracy Gregoire

Tracy Gregoire

Tracy Gregoire is the Healthy Children Project Director for the Learning Disabilities Association of America, and is a long-time advocate for children’s health.

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