Getting The Lead Out: The Danger Of Lead In Our Schools & Homes
By: Patrice Walsh
Monroe County, N.Y. (WHAM) – It was outlawed almost 40 years ago in gasoline and paint, yet lead still continues to poison hundreds of children in Monroe County.
This comes despite major prevention efforts and awareness about the dangers of lead.
Doctors say the water crisis in Flint, Michigan made many of us question the safety of our drinking water.
It also led to a rush to test water in many Rochester-area schools. Several school districts have found elevated levels of lead in fixtures and faucets and are replacing them to be safe.
While drinking water in Monroe County has been determined to be safe, doctors say testing is needed to identify any source of lead in schools.
Though the chance of getting lead poisoning from a drinking fountain at school is slim, Dr. Joseph Stankaitis said no level of lead is safe and schools are smart to take steps to get rid of the lead.
Children are at a greater risk of getting poisoned in their own homes, according to the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning.
That risk exists because many live in houses built before 1978 and may not even know about the lead dust hidden in window sills or on painted porches.
When that lead paint deteriorates, that invisible dust can poison children who play near the paint or its dust and don’t wash their hands before putting them in their mouths.