Is Your Child Drinking Contaminated Water at School?
© 2014 Home Health Realizations
Children need access to healthy water to get through their school day, but the water at many U.S. schools may be far from healthy.
Unsafe levels of lead, pesticides and dozens of other toxins have been found in thousands of schools across the United States, according to an Associated Press investigation. The contamination has been found over the last decade in public and private schools in all 50 states, but has not been closely monitored by the federal government.
The water at public and private schools in all 50 states has been found to contain unsafe levels of lead, pesticides and many other toxins.
"It's an outrage," Marc Edwards, an engineer at Virginia Tech who studies water quality, said in an AP article. "If a landlord doesn't tell a tenant about lead paint in an apartment, he can go to jail. But we have no system to make people follow the rules to keep school children safe?"
Among the most heavily contaminated schools are the 8 to 11 percent that contain wells. According to EPA data analyzed by the AP, about one in five schools with a well have violated the Safe Drinking Water Act in the last 10 years.
Further, upon analyzing a database showing drinking water violations from 1998 to 2008 among schools with their own water supplies, the AP found:
Water in about 100 school districts and 2,250 schools failed to meet federal safety standards.
In 2008, the EPA recorded 577 violations, up from 59 in 1998.
California recorded the most violations with 612 (they’re also the state with the most schools)/, followed by Ohio (451), Maine (417), Connecticut (318) and Indiana (289).
The most frequently cited contaminant was coliform bacteria, followed by lead and copper, arsenic and nitrates.
Schools that get their water from public water supplies may also have contamination problems. Among them, lead-soldered pipes in some older schools can flake into water or contribute to high lead levels as the water sits over weekends and holidays. Further, schools that use public water supplies do not have to test for toxins, which means there’s no way to find out whether contaminants within the school are entering the water.
Already, voluntary tests from schools in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Seattle and Los Angeles have detected dangerous levels of lead in school water.
"I really suspect the level of exposure to lead and other metals at schools is underestimated," Michael Schock, a corrosion expert with the EPA in Cincinnati, said in the AP article. "You just don't know what is going on in the places you don't sample."
Contaminated Water is Especially Dangerous to Children
Children drink more water per pound than adults and are more easily harmed by contaminants. They are also at a higher risk of dehydration because although they have low body weights and sweating capacity, they go through a high amount of water and electrolytes.
What this means is that children require more water than adults, yet are more vulnerable to the effects of contaminated water.
Drinking Fountains are One of the Germiest Places in America
Aside from the contaminants in the water itself, Health magazine has listed public drinking fountains as one of the germiest places in America – with school drinking fountains among the worst offenders.
According to Robert Donofrio, Ph.D., director of microbiology for NSF International, anywhere from 62,000 to 2.7 million bacteria per square inch have been found on drinking fountain spigots!
So while your child needs access to pure water during his or her school day, you may want to advise them to avoid the drinking fountain as much as possible.
Instead, many schools now allow children to bring a water bottle from home, and Sixwise.com has discovered the ultimate in water bottles for kids … one that actually filters water from any source -- even the school drinking fountain!
The Water Bottle That Acts as a Filter Too
There Are Many Water Bottle Options For Your Kiddos to Take to School: One Example Is The Wellness H2.O
Look for a water bottle that is not merely replace wasteful bottled water, that instead combine portable toxin free filtration technology removing chlorine and other chemicals producing high quality drinking water.
Look for a bottle that is toxin-free, with NO BPA, and that filters out chlorine and other contaminants from any source -- even the water fountain in your child’s school.
The bottle should be made of LDPE (low density polyethylene) plastic, which is BPA-free.
Not meant to be disposable, thereby the ultimate environment product. Eliminates 1,100+ plastic bottles, reduces carbon emissions and conserves natural resources.
Saves you up to $1,000 in bottled water purchases per year.
Assures you and your family of safe and healthy water ... no matter where you go.
Sending your child to school with a water bottle may be a healthy necessity to avoid contaminated school water, but the container you give your child to carry that water in deserves some consideration. Plastic water bottles are a burden to the environment, and the reusable options typically contain BPA. Metal bottles may also be less desirable because of the possibility of leaching BPA and other elements into your child’s water.
The guiding principle behind good water is that water should be free ... free from harmful contaminants, free from plastic bottles, and free from the tap.
Look or a personal, reusable BPA-free water bottle that features a unique filtration system that not only purifies ordinary tap water, but also enhances the water for better absorption and hydration.
With such a bottle filtration process your child will have access to high-quality water wherever they go, and all day long at school.
Over the life of a single water bottle you will not only significantly reduce your child’s exposure to BPA compared with drinking from regular plastic bottles, but you will also eliminate the need for over 1,100 plastic bottles and all of the monetary and environmental costs associated with collecting, bottling, warehousing, transporting and retailing of water that is already available from any tap around the globe.
As an alternative, you can also opt to filter your home’s tap water, and send your child to school with a glass bottle protected in a neoprene sleeve. Seek a filtration system that reduces chlorine, chloramines, cysts, VOCs, pesticides, and herbicides below detectable levels for the life of the filter.
The only downside to this option is that your child will only have the one bottle of water from home to get them through the day. Hopefully schools will one day clean up their water supplies so the nation’s children have access to safe water they deserve.
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