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The Lead In School Drinking Water Database

The Lead In School Drinking Water Database


Why Are 31 States Failing?

The Lead In School Water Project is the first web-based application to rank and track every US state in terms of school-related lead exposure, testing and policy. This project’s goal is to provide a free public resource for parents, facility managers and regulators to monitor the latest data on their school’s waterborne lead concentrations.

Click here to see how your state performed!

What Motivated This Project?

For every state, SimpleLab sought to understand and evaluate policies, testing requirements, and data availability for the prevention of childhood lead exposure in schools and day care centers. SimpleLab systematically reviewed and evaluated all state websites, datasets, reports and policies pertaining to school lead programs. The team conducted interviews and consulted experts to capture the most relevant information for a transparent public database.

SimpleLab discovered good information was often WAY too hard to find. Information on the prevention of childhood lead exposure in schools and daycares should be very simple for anyone to access online, but analysis identified a range of policy contradictions, data gaps, and testing needs nationwide.

As SimpleLab gathers feedback from this initial release, the team will roll-out additional layers with finer resolution data, including county and school-specific results.

What Is The Lead In Schools Report Card?

The Lead In School Drinking Water Project is a free web application (available here) for evaluating school-related lead-in-water policies and actions. For the most part, states are not clearly testing and reporting lead contamination, and as a result there may be millions of children exposed to unsafe lead in drinking water. Based upon the transparency, action, and progress of school-related lead programs, SimpleLab will update school evaluations every quarter based on the transparency, action and progress of school-related programs. SimpleLab has also curated a list of free resources for school administrators, facility managers, district boards and concerned parents in each state.

What Are The Lessons Learned?

In short, good information about lead in school water is too hard to find. A litany of policy contradictions, testing requirements and data reporting gaps, cast doubt upon the overall integrity of our schools’ environmental health infrastructure. The top findings are: 

  • There is no Federal requirement for schools to test water for lead.

  • About half of US states have proposed or passed legislation related to lead in school water, fewer than half have funded such legislation.

  • Faucet fixtures and on-premise plumbing is not systematically monitored in most states, despite being a primary exposure pathway
  • Day care facilities provide no systematic lead testing, despite serving children who are most vulnerable to impacts from lead.
  • Background

    Lead in drinking water can lower a child's IQ, negatively impact behavior, and result in lifelong disabilities. Lead exposure remains in old pipes, in homes and in schools everywhere. It's common knowledge that this is not a problem limited to cities like Flint or Newark. As they also learned, awareness does not mean solutions.

    SimpleLab’s goal is to provide an easy way for people to see and understand the risks of exposure in every school. After hundreds of hours or research, they’ve compiled the first evaluation of every State’s school lead testing, data and policy performance, including a foundation for free and transparent reporting of lead data in every US school.

    About SimpleLab and Tap Score

    SimpleLab is working to improve environmental health and testing data. Based in Berkeley, California, SimpleLab owns and operates the Tap Score Water Testing service. Tap Score is the largest residential water testing service in the United States, providing millions of homes and businesses with easy access to state-of-the-art environmental lab testing, health reporting and remediation services.

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