Florida Students Found To Be At Risk of Lead Exposure
On June 5th, health experts warned that Florida’s children are likely being exposed to heightened levels of lead in their school drinking water on a regular basis. This exposure can lead to aggressive behavior and IQ loss, amongst other symptoms and illnesses.
Tests were conducted in 16 cities in the state’s capital, all of which were found to have elevated levels of lead in the water foundations. In fact, one of the fountains tested had lead levels that were 11 times higher than the limits established by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and it is believed that similar lead levels exist throughout the state of Florida.
Another Flint, Michigan…
Florida appears to be in the same situation as Flint, Michigan, where a similar “scandal” broke in 2014. Many other U.S. cities are now realizing that Flint may have simply been the most publicized water crisis, but the city is by no means alone in its alarming levels of lead in the water. Some are even concerned that many of the Florida school shootings could be linked to the lead levels.
Because there is no real “safe” exposure to lead (i.e. the Environmental Protection Agency aims to keep lead levels at zero, but allows for a margin of error regarding anything less than five micrograms per deciliter in drinking water), health experts are now calling on Florida lawmakers to pass legislation that would require schools to first filter their water before it reached water fountains in an effort to reduce exposure.
Lead Exposure – Medical Conditions
Not only can lead be linked to aggressiveness and behavioral/learning problems, but also cancer and kidney failure, anemia, stunted growth, hearing problems, premature births, and reduced fetal growth in children. Children in schools, in particular, are the primary victims of the contamination, and exposure puts them at a much higher risk for developing illnesses as a result. In adults, the consequences of exposure to lead over long periods of time can result in death, decreased kidney function or kidney failure, elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, increased blood pressure, hypertension, and reproductive problems.
The problem is in the pipes, particularly when it comes to structures built before 1986, when health officials started regulating lead levels in pipes. Still, even after regulations were in place, lead accumulated in water such that pipes built after 1986 can now contain up to eight percent lead.
Florida Personal Injury Attorneys
If you live in Florida and are concerned that you or your child has been exposed to unhealthy levels of lead in the drinking water, and you are now suffering as a result, contact our Boca Raton personal injury attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan today to find out how we can help.