Chapman Elementary in Northwest Portland

Chapman Elementary in Northwest Portland

Bradley W. Parks / OPB

Portland Public Schools has released results of some of the schools it tested for lead last month. There were high levels in all 11 buildings tested.

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The biggest concern is high lead levels in water sources where kids drink, like water fountains.

On Portland's west side, Ainsworth Elementary had high lead in more than one fountain. The same was true for Sitton Elementary in North Portland.

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About one-third of fixtures had high lead at Southeast Portland's Hosford Middle School. They're mostly spigots and shower heads, though one of the highest concentrations is in a library drinking fountain.

Some schools have elevated lead only in water spigots and sinks, like at the Sacajawea Head Start building.

Here is a summary of findings at the 11 school buildings where test results have come in:

  • Ainsworth Annex: Three of 20 fixtures showed lead above the federal standard.
  • Ainsworth Elementary: Twenty of 86 fixtures showed lead above the federal standard. Two are drinking fountains.
  • Astor K-8: Eleven of 98 fixtures showed lead above the federal standard. One is a drinking fountain.
  • Chapman Elementary: Twenty-eight of 87 fixtures showed lead above the federal standard.
  • East Sylvan: Twelve of 33 fixtures showed lead above the federal standard. One is a drinking fountain. East Sylvan has been closed as a PPS school facility in recent years, but it is scheduled to re-open for the 2016-2017 school year.
  • Hosford: Twenty-six of 128 fixtures showed lead above the federal standard. One is a drinking fountain.
  • Humboldt: Thirty-eight of 84 fixtures showed lead above the federal standard. Three are drinking faucets. Humboldt has been closed as a PPS school since 2012.
  • Peninsula: Fourteen of 123 fixtures showed lead above the federal standard.
  • Rieke: Thirteen of 59 fixtures showed lead above the federal standard. Three are drinking fountains.
  • Sacajawea (Head Start): Eight of 43 fixtures showed lead above the federal standard.
  • Sitton: Twenty-five of 112 fixtures showed lead above the federal standard. Two are drinking fountains.

Portland teachers have said that sinks can also be a concern for lead because kids and staff use some of them to fill their water bottles.

Many districts in Oregon and Washington are testing for lead in their buildings this summer. The tests follow lead discoveries in May at two Portland schools and and a Beaverton middle school.

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