MCPSS hires firm to test all schools for lead contamination with - FOX10 News | WALA

MCPSS hires firm to test all schools for lead contamination within three years

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Water fountain (Credit: Franz Barraza, Chief Photographer FOX10 News) Water fountain (Credit: Franz Barraza, Chief Photographer FOX10 News)

In an effort to "promote public confidence and help schools minimize potential exposure to possible high levels of lead in drinking water," the Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS) has hired Thompson Engineering to test 29 schools a year for the next three years, according to school board documents. 

This comes after FOX10 News Investigates uncovered public schools in Mobile and Baldwin counties were not previously testing school drinking water for lead contamination, because there was no state law in place requiring them to do so. 

Following that revelation, the Alabama State Department of Education mandated all public schools statewide begin testing, to ensure children's health is not at risk. 

According to Dr. Curtis Turner, a pediatrician with the University of South Alabama, children are most susceptible to lead's harmful effects

"It can slow the brain development, by causing some toxicities, where the brain just doesn't function quite as rapidly as it would, it's a little bit of dulling," explained Dr. Turner. 

Doctors also said lead exposure can damage kidneys and bone marrow. 

MCPSS will spend a maximum of $12,000 a year for the lead testing, according to school board documents. 

Some parents said it's worth it. 

"That's very affordable, I think they could spare $12,000 for the safety of the children," said Mobile County mom Anna Sias. 

According to the agreement with Thompson Engineering, the following schools' drinking water supply will be tested for lead in 2017:

  • Alba Middle
  • Allentown Elementary
  • Austin Elementary
  • Baker High
  • Belsaw-Mt. Vernon
  • Blount High
  • Booth Elementary
  • Brazier Elementary
  • Breitling Elementary
  • Bryant High
  • Bryant Career/Tech
  • Burns Middle
  • Burroughs Elementary
  • Calcedeaver Elementary
  • Calloway-Smith Middle
  • Castlen Elementary
  • Chastang Middle
  • Citronelle High
  • Clark-Shaw Magnet
  • CLC (Continuous Learning Center)
  • Collier Elementary
  • Collins-Rhodes Elementary
  • Council Traditional
  • Craighead Elementary
  • Dauphin Island Elementary
  • Davidson High
  • Dunbar Magnet
  • Eanes Middle at Williamson High
  • Eichold Mertz Magnet
  • Evans K-12

The Baldwin County Public School System has indicated it will begin testing its schools "sometime" in September. 

FOX10 News Investigates will keep you informed, and let you know when the results of the testing are available. 

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