Testing for Lead in Public School Drinking Water: A Letter to the Editor

  • Testing for Lead in Public School Drinking Water: A Letter to the Editor

In the 2017 Texas legislative session, we’ve been following a couple of bills related to testing for lead in public school drinking water. On April 16th, board member Jubilee Barton, MD, had a letter to the editor published in the Austin-American Statesman about one of these bills.

Protect our children from lead exposure
Re: April 9 commentary, “Lawmakers could help avoid a Flint disaster here in Texas.”

Thank you for publishing Luke Metzger’s piece about protecting Texas children from lead in school drinking water. As a pediatrician, mother and member of Texas Physicians for Social Responsibility, I fully support House Bill 3695 and Senate Bill 1587, which would require testing water for lead, installing filters and replacing lead pipes in child-care facilities and schools.

Young children are the most vulnerable to lead poisoning. Early lead exposure — even at low levels — is linked to speech and motor delays, attention problems and difficulties learning. These effects are permanent: The longest study of adults exposed to lead as children shows that 25 years later they performed worse on intelligence testing, had higher rates of substance abuse and had lower socioeconomic status. Texans must protect our kids from lead exposure at school. The lessons of Flint, Michigan, must be learned, not forgotten. - JUBILEE BARTON, TEXAS PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, AUSTIN

More information about avoiding lead exposures can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Image by Josh