More than 1,000 Oregon day cares have failed to prove water is free of lead

One in three licensed day cares in Oregon has failed to prove its drinking water is free from high levels of the neurotoxin lead, state data show.
Oregon childcares are required to test drinking water for the first time as part of new rules created in response to reporting last year by The Oregonian/OregonLive.
Of the 2,635 day cares that did submit results, about 1.6 percent discovered lead above state standards, records show.
While the greatest risk comes from lead paint and dust, drinking water can represent 20 percent or more of a person’s total exposure to lead.
"Testing is critical to the safety of children in childcare facilities," Siegel said in a statement.
Mercedes Johnston, director for the day care center, said she shut off access to that tap and provided bottled water until a second round of testing could be completed.
A month later, the facility’s only tap for drinking water tested at 55 parts per billion.
Farr said she’s since provided bottled water to the children in her care, at a cost of about $6 a week.
State regulators have not verified whether children drank from each of the taps at the 43 facilities that reported a high result, the childcare spokesman said.
Officials for the Office of Child Care told The Oregonian/OregonLive last year that lead results would be posted to the state’s childcare website.

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