New initiative will test for lead levels in drinking water at Alabama child care facilities and pre-k

New initiative will test for lead levels in drinking water at Alabama child care facilities and pre-k
New initiative to test children's drinking water (Source: WMC Action News 5)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The initiative is aimed at preventing young children’s exposure to lead in drinking water.

The Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR), Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education (ADECE), and Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) will assist child care facilities, Alabama First Class Pre-K, and Head Start programs with voluntary testing for lead in drinking water in 2020.

The program is funded by a grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

While public water systems are required to conduct rigorous testing to ensure the water they produce meets all health-based standards, there are no state or federal requirements for child care centers or schools to test for lead in drinking water.

ADEM Director Lance R. LeFleur said, "This project will provide parents and staff with information needed to make informed decisions to minimize potential exposure to lead. We look forward to working with DHR and ADECE on protecting our most vulnerable population,children under six years of age, from health concerns of lead in drinking water."

The results will be provided to facility staff to be shared with parents and will be posted on the ADEM website.

If lead levels are higher than they are allowed to be, follow-up steps will be taken.

For more information, please contact: ADEM Office of External Affairs at (334) 260-4545 or pa@adem.alabama.gov

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