The following are frequently asked questions about lead in
Is my child at risk of lead poisoning from drinking water?
No. Most sources of lead contamination for children come
from paint manufactured before 1978, “take home” exposure (i.e. an adult
unintentionally bringing lead from work to household), soil contaminated from
unsafe work practices and some home remedy treatments.
What action are you taking?
The LAUSD in 1988 implemented a plan that calls for flushing district
drinking water fountains for 30 seconds each morning to ensure that the drinking
water in our schools is safe. In response to recent concerns about lead in
drinking water, the District has initiated additional testing and inspection
programs at all schools to verify compliance with the flushing policy.
Is the water in my home safe?
Parents and guardians should be aware that lead in drinking
water may exist in homes and other areas throughout the community. Any structure
constructed before 1989 with galvanized pipes or pipes where lead solder was
used may leach lead into drinking water. In 1993, the U.S. EPA issued guidelines
for households to flush faucets to reduce the amount of lead in drinking water.
Can't you just replace all the pipes?
Wholesale replacement of piping may not be required since
lead can leach into water from several sources, including lead solder and brass
fittings. Each incident needs to be examined carefully to determine the exact
source of the lead, with appropriate follow-on action. That said, the district
has spent $93 million on more than 600 projects throughout the District
replacing old water pipes. We estimate it would cost more than $330 million
dollars to replace pipes in all schools. The District does not currently have
sufficient funding to allow the replacement of water pipes in all schools. Even
without complete re-piping, the District’s policy of testing and flushing is
designed to ensure that lead levels in drinking water remain below the EPA