Flint gets most of the attention when it comes to lead in the water, but a recent study found that Bronx schools have lead levels 16 times higher than those in the Michigan city. Readings were taken in two schools and results showed that numerous faucets in school facilities were well above the baseline “action level” set by the EPA, and far higher than those readings taken in Flint.
The EPA cites that water lead levels above 15 ppb are concerning, and homes in Flint tested an average of 27 ppb. Lead levels at P.S. 41 tested above 100 ppb, with one faucet testing at 442 ppb. At I.S. 158, lead levels in classrooms, the kitchen, the boys locker room, the weight room and bathrooms tested high as well, the highest level being 63.8 ppb.
City Councilman Andy King announced that $400,000 had been allocated to renovate the facilities and that all outlets testing above 15 ppb were taken out of service. “Parents can rest assured that water in New York City is of the highest quality in the world and we have stringent protocols and robust procedures in place to ensure that water in school buildings is safe for students and staff,” DOE spokeswoman Toya Holness said.