More DeKalb County Schools test positive for lead contamination

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt October 18, 2016
DeKalb County Schools' lead testing map. Source:

DeKalb County Schools’ lead testing map. Source:

DeKalb County Schools effort to test lead levels in its schools have uncovered more instances of lead contamination.

A total of 10 facilities have water sources that were found to to have lead levels greater than 15 parts per billion.

They are:

– Briar Vista Elementary School

– The International Community School

– Robert Shaw Theme School

– Allgood Elementary School

– Stone Mountain Elementary School

– Barack H. Obama Elementary Magnet School

– The Museum School of Avondale Estates

– Wadsworth Magnet School

– International Student Center

– Redan Elementary School

DeKalb County is testing all 150 of its schools and facilities.

“A total of 423 sources in 16 schools have been tested,” a press release from the county says. “Of those tested, 22 sources, or 5.2 percent tested, have tested at or above EPA action level.”

In cases where lead above standard levels has been detected, the county has taken steps to cut off the source of the water and clean up the contamination. The sources of contamination at the International Student Center and Barack H. Obama Elementary Magnet School are drinking fountains, which have been removed, the county says.

DeKalb County Schools launched the new lead testing program last month.

“Recent events have brought national attention to water quality issues,” a letter from the county announcing the testing said. “Please understand that we have absolutely no evidence of water quality issues in any school or building. Still, we want students, staff, and the community to know our water is safe for consumption.”

Recent tests by Atlanta Public Schools found elevated lead levels in drinking water in half of the schools tested, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, even low levels of lead in drinking water can cause a number of health issues for children, including a lower IQ and behavioral problems. Homes built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes and other building materials containing lead.

To see DeKalb County Schools’ lead testing map, click here.

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