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Mandatory testing for lead in drinking water — and repairs to keep that water safe — has been completed in 98% of Vermont schools and daycares, the state health department announced Wednesday.
Vermont passed a law in 2019 requiring schools and daycares to test their drinking and cooking water for lead, a highly toxic metal.
One in five faucets had high levels of lead, out of more than 15,000 faucets tested between June 2019 and December 2021. Exposure to lead can stunt children’s growth, impair development and learning, and cause developmental problems. behaviour.
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Lead was more commonly found in water faucets rather than plumbing, making repairs both easier and less expensive. The state has provided funds to reimburse schools and daycares for remediation costs, 90% of which cost less than $500.
“We take very seriously our responsibility to protect and promote the health and safety of children in early care and education programs,” said Commissioner Sean Brown of the Child Development Division of the Social Services Agency. “Collaborative efforts like this help ensure that children in Vermont have positive and safe learning environments in which they can grow and develop.”
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Because lead can leach into drinking water from older plumbing and fixtures, Vermont required schools and daycares to test all faucets and take corrective action if lead levels were found. found at or above the state action level of 4 parts per billion, and to repeat testing every three years.