GET THE LEAD OUT: AN ANALYSIS OF GEORGIA’S LEAD IN SCHOOL DRINKING WATER DATA

Our analysis of recent lead testing data in Georgia shows that the Peach State also struggles with lead contamination in school drinking water. Of over 2,000 samples, forty-five percent, showed lead concentrations above the standard recommended by public health experts.

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Lisa F Young | Shutterstock.com
45% of schools taps tested in Georgia's free lead testing program found unhealthy levels of lead.

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In 2014, the Flint Water Crisis caused nationwide alarm about lead and safe drinking water. Many Americans watched as a tragedy unfolded in Flint, Michigan. Through a combination of appalling decisions and denials, an entire city had its water contaminated with high levels of lead. Tens of thousands of children were exposed to lead during the crisis in Flint. In addition to acute symptoms and other illnesses, by one estimate, children in Flint will lose 18,000 future healthy years combined. 

Our analysis of recent lead testing data in Georgia shows that the Peach State also struggles with lead contamination in school drinking water. Of over 2,000 samples, 45% showed lead concentrations above the standard recommended by public health experts.

Thankfully, lead contamination can be addressed and can improve children’s health with simple measures, while larger and longer-term water infrastructure improvements take place. This analysis hopes to highlight the importance of continued focus on lead in school drinking water and offer actionable recommendations for schools and state leadership. 

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Jennifer Duenas

Clean Water Associate, Environment Georgia

Jennifer works to protect clean water with Environment Georgia. Jennifer lives in Georgia, where she loves reading, volunteering in her community, and spending time with her family at the park.

Jennette Gayer

State Director, Environment Georgia

As director, Jennette coordinates policy development, research, outreach and legislative advocacy for Environment Georgia. She has run successful campaigns to designate Georgia’s first outstanding national resource water along the headwaters of the Conasauga River, expand parks along the Chattahoochee River and Jekyll Island State Park, and stop construction of three new coal-fired power plants in Georgia, while also advocating for solar policies that have helped make Georgia one of the top 10 states for solar in the country. She serves on the leadership team for the Georgia Water Coalition, and on the boards of Citizens for Progressive Transit and The Georgia Solar Energy Association. Jennette lives in Atlanta, where she enjoys training for triathlons and hiking and camping in Georgia’s mountains.  

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