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Lead in School Drinking Fountains

By Renee Nordstrand on March 5, 2018

When children are exposed to lead through the water in their school drinking fountains, the consequences can be disastrous.

Fortunately, California passed stricter laws in October 2017 requiring that all public schools test their water and drinking fountains for lead, and take action to remove and replace contaminated fountains as soon as possible. This is largely due to a 2016 Reuters report that revealed children in many California neighborhoods had elevated levels of lead in their blood.

Even though schools are now required to test their water supply, children may already have lead in their bodies. When this happens, the school may be held liable for not protecting the child.

Lead Found in CA Drinking Water

Lead is a very harmful heavy metal when it comes to human exposure: no amount in a person’s body is considered safe. It acts as a neurotoxin that often causes serious brain damage, which can impact the rest of a person’s life. Recent testing has shown high levels of lead in water in some California public schools, as well as high levels of lead in children who attend those schools.

If you have concerns about your son or daughter’s school drinking water, have a doctor test your child for lead poisoning immediately.

Stricter Laws Now for Lead Testing

Once California’s new water tests are completed in the next year, schools have to remove any water fountains that test positive for lead, and replace them as soon as possible. These laws do not mandate testing for students in those schools, however, so you should take any action you consider appropriate to protect your child.

If your child does have high levels of lead in his or her system, and you suspect it was caused by water from a school, you have some options available to you. If your child is a student at a public school, you may file a claim with the school district. It is very important to word your claim precisely; you should have a lawyer work with you to file this paperwork in a timely and accurate way.

Should the school district deny your claim, you have the option to file a lawsuit against the district. Gathering scientific evidence is vital in proving these cases. You should work with an attorney to make sure an investigation is done properly. There are strict deadlines you need to know and comply with to make sure your claim moves forward.

If your child is a student at a private school, you do not have to file a claim first. Instead, you can go forward with a lawsuit if you feel it is appropriate.

If your child has come into contact with lead in his or her school’s drinking water, call NordstrandBlack PC today at (805) 962-2022. Our Southern California child injury lawyers have extensive experience handling highly technical cases. Your consultation is free.

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