发生在密歇根州弗林特市的危机., in 2014-15 provided a tragic reminder of the dangers of lead exposure. The drinking water of an entire city had been contaminated with lead. More than 8,000 children under the age of 6 drank lead-contaminated water.
A potent neurotoxin, lead affects how our children learn, grow and behave. 根据 环境保护署,“在孩子, low levels of lead exposure have been linked to damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, 学习障碍, 较短的身材, 听力受损, and impaired formation and function of blood cells."
Now we know this toxic threat extends well beyond Flint. Even the limited available data shows drinking water laced with lead at schools and early childhood programs across the country, in big cities but also in suburban and rural communities.
Lead is so toxic that health experts say there is no safe level of lead. One drinking water fountain at a Montessori school in Cleveland had 十亿分之1560. A school in the Chicago suburbs had lead-water concentrations at 是联邦标准的212倍. Leicester Memorial Elementary in 麻萨诸塞州 had a tap that tested at 22400磅的.
In all likelihood, these confirmed cases are just the tip of the iceberg. Most schools have at least some lead in their pipes, plumbing or fixtures. And where there is lead, there is risk of contamination.