OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Children at an Oakland elementary school have been exposed to water with lead levels four times higher than allowed under federal guidelines, and six other campuses also had lead levels that surpass U.S. health standards, test results obtained by The Chronicle show.
The schools include: The temporary site of Glenview Elementary School near the Emeryville border, Thornhill, Brookfield, Fruitvale, Joaquin Miller and Burckhalter elementary schools, and American Indian Charter High School on the former Lakeview Elementary campus.
Officials on Thursday told the Chronicle that the water flowing into the schools is safe, but the problem is in lead in the old fixtures, which leaches into the water.
Exposure to lead even in low levels can harm children’s health, possibly damaging the brain and nervous system, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The district started testing water taps after concerns were raised last school year about lead in the water at McClymonds High School, where a shower in the boys locker room dispensed water exceeding the federal threshold for the metal.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation this month requiring all schools to test faucets for lead by 2019. A number of districts signed up for a voluntary testing program launched in January, with local water utilities conducting the tests. Oakland officials conducted the testing independently and has so far tested 47 of the district’s 87 school sites, the Chronicle reported.
San Francisco Unified also received results this month, showing three schools had high levels of lead: West Portal and Malcolm X elementary schools and San Francisco International High School, the Chronicle reported.