Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher speaks to the crowd before the march. Photo by Chris Stone
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher speaks to the crowd before the march. Photo by Chris Stone

Schools would be required to test their water systems annually for lead content under legislation introduced Wednesday by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego.

Her bill comes in the wake of the discovery of high levels of lead, copper and bacteria at three schools in San Ysidro.

Elevated lead levels have been linked to brain damage, and are usually ingested by children via old paint chips.

The legislation would force districts that haven’t taken advantage of voluntary testing programs to test for lead in the water supply every year. She said few districts have conducted voluntary testing.

If higher lead levels are discovered at a school site, the district would be required to shut off the water system and notify parents that elevated levels were discovered and how their children can be tested for lead poisoning.

“Lead has real consequences and it’s unacceptable that children and teachers could be poisoned by simply drinking from the water fountains at school,” the assemblywoman said. “This is a problem for rural and urban students alike, and we need to make sure we’re not putting our kids in danger of lead poisoning.”

– City News Service

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