Illinois Environmental groups push for lead testing of water in schools
A group of environmental organizations is pushing for a law that requires elementary schools in Illinois to test for high levels of lead in drinking fountains, sinks and other water sources because they say school districts aren’t likely to test without prodding.
Lead, which is particularly dangerous for young children, can cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities and other health issues.
“There’s no safe level of lead that we can give to children,” said Jennifer Walling, executive director of the umbrella organization Illinois Environmental Council and a backer of the bill. “In this case, we need to be absolutely sure we’re not providing a continuous source of lead in their environment — we’re not poisoning our children.”
Schools and towns around the state are questioning who should pay for testing given the current financial conditions of state government, public schools and the municipalities that may be called on to help fund such an effort.
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