JOPLIN, Mo. — A new law in Missouri focuses on water in our schools that is used for drinking, cooking, or cleaning.
If samples show high levels of lead, schools will be required to address it.
“We know that lead is not safe for children at any level, there is no safe level of lead for children,” said Dr. Beth Garrett, Pediatrician.
Because exposure to lead can lead to a whole host of health problems.
“The big one is there is a neurodevelopmental development, and their cognition and once those effects have taken place, it’s very difficult and really impossible to go back and make that better. It can be anything from ADHD to learning oppositional defiant behavior, and so it’s really important that there not be any lead in their drinking water,” said Dr. Garrett.
One big concern is the age of many school buildings.
“They may have fixtures that have lead for the soldering or brass fixtures. Older brass fixtures could have lead in them before the legislation was passed,” said Dr. Garrett.
Which could taint drinking water, potentially causing issues for young students.
If there’s a concern, your pediatrician can order a blood test.
“In office, we can do a finger poke or a heel poke for lead, and that’s just a screening test meaning we’re casting a wide net looking for those who might have an elevated lead level, but that’s screening, it’s not a diagnostic test. So if that screens high, then we’ll send them for a venous test,” said Dr. Garrett.