VDH launches free lead testing program in schools and care centers

The program will test for lead in drinking water in schools and care centers that opt to participate

(Photo by Nithin PA from Pexels)

RICHMOND, Va. – The risk of lead exposure might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your kid’s education, but it’s certainly something to keep in mind, and now, schools have the ability to see just how safe their water is.

Thanks to the Virginia Department of Health’s new program, schools and care centers can now opt to participate in their new lead testing program, which launched on Friday, according to a VDH press release.

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The Lead Testing in Drinking Water at Schools and Child Care Centers in Virginia program is completely free, VDH said, and it will test for lead in drinking water in Virginia public schools and child care centers.

Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, the program will help schools and care centers to identify lead levels in their drinking water to reduce exposure, VDH said.

The selection of schools and care centers to participate in the program is based on funding and affordability criteria established by the state to include schools with at least 50% of students receiving free and reduced lunches and head start facilities, according to the release.

The VDH said that priority will be given to facilities that serve children 6 and under, as well as facilities that are older and are more likely to have lead plumbing.

Dr. Tony Singh, Deputy Director of the Office of Drinking Water with VDH, is excited about the launch of the new program.

“This program is an amazing opportunity to partner with schools and child care centers to help identify and reduce lead exposure in drinking water in children,” said Singh. “Every action we take to reduce lead exposures improves the health of our children.”

The impact of lead on a child’s development is high according to the CDC and the EPA – lead exposure can interfere with brain development, which is especially harmful to a child’s health.

You can learn more or enroll your facility in the program here.

About the Author

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.

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