Proposed bill aims to reduce childhood lead poisoning

Proposed bill aims to keep lead out of public school water

SARASOTA (WWSB) - Florida lawmakers are discussing a bill that aims to prevent childhood lead poisoning.

The bill would require all public schools built before the year 1986 to install filters to reduce lead in the water systems. 1986 was the year congress outlawed lead pipes in new construction nationwide.

A few months back, Sarasota County School District decided to test buildings built before 1986 for traces of lead and three schools came back positive. Those three schools were McIntosh Middle School, Venice Middle School, and Englewood Elementary School.

The sources of contaminated water in those three schools have since been fixed, but cases like this is why some lawmakers want public schools built before 1986 to have filters.

The proposed bill also would require schools to put up signs with pictures and texts clearly identifying any water sources that are not to be used for consumption and make them list on the school's website the date of when each filter was installed.

If a child is exposed to too much lead it can damage the brain,delaying development, taking away the ability to focus, and possibly leading to anemia.

Sarasota County School District told ABC7 it's going to begin flushing the water systems in all schools at least once per year and annually test the water in buildings built before 1986.

If this bill passes, it would go into effect throughout the state on July 1st.

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