Flint: Water tests in schools show a rise in lead levels

Recently, water tests conducted at elementary schools in Flint, Michigan, United States (U.S.), have shown a rise in samples holding levels of lead above the federal action limit. According to the Flint Journal, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality found that of the samples tested, 28 samples in February were higher than 15 parts per billion (ppb) of lead, an increase from the 20 samples in January.

Although the increase could be attributed to changes in testing condition such as decisions to collect samples before allowing the lines to be flushed, on a whole the results are promising, according to George Krisztian, a department spokesman, as they meet federal guidelines for lead levels if they are treated much like the samples collected from the municipal water systems. Samples collected before the lines are flushed usually contain higher levels of lead with the water having been in contact with the pipes for a longer time, according to TIME magazine.

According to the Mayor of Flint, Karen Weaver, the metropolis’ chief public health advisor and director of public works will be working closely with department representatives, public health officials, as well as research scientists to review the data.

Weaver said: “I am convinced that these test results prove additional work and investigation is needed to determine the source – or sources – of lead, and what actions must be taken to address and resolve the problem, once and for all.”