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State Law Focuses on Childhood Lead Poisoning

Legislation targets water sources in schools and day cares.

In the last year, some Illinois schools [...] have voluntarily tested drinking water for lead [and] had alarming results. According to media reports, Chicago Public Schools tested approximately 12,000 water fountains and kitchen sinks in more than 500 schools and found elevated levels of lead in about 3 percent of the fixtures tested. Test results from other school districts, including Glenview and St. Charles, also revealed some drinking water sources with elevated lead levels.

Senate Bill 550, sponsored by Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Sonya Harper, will require drinking water in Illinois schools and day cares to be tested for lead. The law addresses alarming statistics that show Illinois has one of the highest lead exposure rates in the country.

The law requires that all schools built before 2000 with pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade classes test all water sources used for drinking or food preparation for lead. The law also requires certain day care facilities to test water sources for lead.

The law also requires an inventory be taken of all lead service lines in the state that pose the risk of increased lead exposure in drinking water. Additionally, the law will increase public notification of nearby water main construction projects that could impact water lines and increase the presence of lead in water.

If you would like to speak to one of our expert Environmental Services Professionals to further discuss lead water testing or other issues, please call us at 630-654-2550.

To read more about this new legislation, click here. The Public Act addressing testing and reporting of lead in school drinking water can be found here, beginning on page 15.

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