Water from a classroom sink at McNary High School contains lead at 800 parts per billion – more than 50 times higher than the Salem-Keizer School District’s “action level.”
Communities across the Northwest were shocked recently to discover dangerously high lead levels in their water. How did this happen, and what’s being done to fix the problem?
In June, state health and education officials asked Oregon school districts to test all taps used for cooking or drinking, in response to the Flint crisis, where the entire community was poisoned by lead in drinking water, and to concerning results found at some Portland schools.
There is no safe level of lead, and experts say health effects can occur at levels as low as 5 ppb. The EPA recommends taking action, such shutting off taps or replacing fixtures, at 20 parts per billion. Most Oregon school districts, including Salem-Keizer, are using a stricter standard of 15 ppb.
Read more at the Statesman Journal.