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Mass. Lead And Copper Water Testing To Include Head Start And Special Ed

Drinking Fountains
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Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/uncoolbob

Massachusetts is expanding a program testing water in public schools. Officials are using leftover money from an existing initiative to include Head Start and special education programs.

“We’re really excited that we can offer this program to the additional entities, certainly for the Head Start programs,” said Doug Fine of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. “That is a really young population, and they are populations that are more susceptible to impacts from both lead and copper.”

The testing method used by the program was developed by UMass Amherst Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering, John Tobiason. He says it’s impressive the state provides funding for these lab tests since the program is voluntary.

“We work to provide the best quality water possible through every fixture, every opportunity we get to take it,” Tobiason said.

The state makes lead and copper test results available to the public.

The most recent list shows 1,057 Massachusetts schools participated in the test. All but 411 reported high copper and lead levels in their drinking water fixtures.

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