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SACRAMENTO, CA-- Last night, the California Senate passed AB 2370 (Holden, Gonzales-Fletcher) on a unanimous voice vote, requiring that all child care centers test their drinking water for lead. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.
“Day care providers work day in and day out to keep children safe, but many may be unwittingly exposing kids to lead in their tap water,” said Laura Deehan, Public Health Advocate with CALPIRG. “There is no safe level of lead, especially for the littlest Californians, who are the most vulnerable to any lead exposure.”
Lead is a potent neurotoxin, and even small amounts can lead to a drop in IQ, and behavioral issues like ADHD and anxiety in children. Our society has taken steps over the years to get lead out of the environment, by making gasoline unleaded, and banning lead from paint. But one of the remaining sources of exposures today is in the drinking water. Lead-bearing parts in pipes and plumbing fixtures were permitted in California until 2010, and so even quite modern buildings have small amounts of lead leaching into the drinking water. Last year, amid concerns about high levels of lead found in some schools’ water, the California legislature voted to require all elementary and high schools to allow testing of water on their campuses.
“We hope that child care centers won’t wait for this bill to take action on their own to replace old fixtures and test their water for lead,” said Deehan. “But AB 2370 will help ensure that child care centers identify lead in drinking water and remove any sources of lead to protect our kids.”
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