Thursday, February 20, 2020

Michigan finds elevated lead levels in Flint elementary school, some homes

Testing by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) found high levels of lead in nine faucets at the Freeman Elementary School in Flint, Michigan.

The test is part of an ongoing action plan to address the city’s drinking water. The results were announced Monday.

“The safety and health of our students are our primary concern at Flint Community Schools, so we will start work as soon as possible to replace faucets, aerators and other related components where high lead levels were detected,” Flint Community Schools Superintendent Bilal Tawwab said. “Once those fixes have been made, the DEQ has offered to provide additional testing of the water at Freeman Elementary to ensure the water from every sample is safe for our students.”

The DEQ tested 31 faucets at the school, and the nine with lead exposure showed decreased levels of lead after running for several minutes. The department also tested 381 homes, businesses and other facilities, 75 percent of which showed lead levels at five parts per billion or less. While many homes had negligible lead exposure, some did have elevated levels, so the DEQ is urging homeowners to take advantage of the free testing.

“The results from this data underline the need for water testing at all homes, businesses, schools and other buildings in Flint,” DEQ Flint Action Plan Coordinator George Krisztian said. “Problems with lead exposure appear to be localized to individual service lines or plumbing fixtures, and we want to see all families in Flint take advantage of free water testing from the state.”

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Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

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