The Department of Education issued an inspection of 100,000 taps in elementary school buildings and found a disgusting truth. About one in every 20 of the water taps in New York City elementary schools has levels of lead that are elevated from normal. These faucets include those that contain water for drinking and cooking.
The EPA says more than 6,000 taps showed higher lead levels than is approved. In Brooklyn, there were 18 schools with more than 20 taps with elevated levels. Queens had 10 schools with elevated levels. The Bronx found seven schools, Manhattan had three and Staten Island was at its best with only two schools.
This is harmful to the health of the students and teachers alike. These lead levels have spiked in recent months. This situation should be made a priority.
More than 6,000 taps showed lead levels higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) limit, which is 15 parts per billion. Brooklyn had 18 schools with 20 or more taps with elevated lead levels. “Queens had 10 schools, The Bronx seven, Manhattan three and Staten Island two,” the Post reports.
“At PS 92 Adrian Hegeman in Flatbush, Brooklyn, one of the 32 taps that required removal in a boys bathroom registered a lead level of 11,000 parts per billion, according to DOE data,” says the Post.
“Concern over the lead in city schools has spiked in recent months,” with many of those concerned worried that a situation similar to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, could happen in New York.
The presidents of the five boroughs signed a letter to New York City Public Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña urging her to make the situation a priority. “The tragedy of Flint, Mich., should not be repeated here,” the letter stated. The DOE responded in a statement that the “suspect water sources have been removed,” the water is safe to drink, and that “there has never been a known case of lead poisoning due to drinking water in schools.”