Three-quarters of local school districts tested by Environment Montana had lead in their drinking water.

That's unacceptable, given that we know lead is a potent neurotoxin that affects children in particular. Even more unacceptable? There's no state law requiring schools to test lead contamination in their water. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than one part per billion of lead in water to protect children's health. Our testing uncovered lead levels far exceeding that at Lincoln Elementary and Paris Gibson Education Center in Great Falls.

“I would like for the American Academy of Pediatrics standard ... to be enforced across the board,” Environment Montana State Director Skye Borden told ABC Fox Montana. “Even low levels of exposure can permanently impact the way children learn, grow and behave.”

Now, the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) has proposed making these voluntary lead tests mandatory. Environment Montana is gathering public comments to submit to DPHHS in support of this measure.

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Photo: Three-quarters of local school districts tested by Environment Montana had lead in their drinking water. Credit: goodmoments via Shutterstock.