CPS Testing Finds Elevated Lead Levels In 14 Schools’ Water

drinking fountain
drinking fountain

CPS Testing Finds Elevated Lead Levels In 14 Schools’ Water

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Updated June 10, 4:30 p.m.

More than a dozen Chicago Public Schools show elevated lead levels, according to new test results. The district is in the process of testing water at all of its buildings.

Last month CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said the district was expanding lead testing to all public schools “out of an abundance of caution.” At that time, the district had discovered elevated levels in one of 28 schools tested. 

Results from a total of 65 schools have now been released. Of those, 14 had elevated lead levels.

A district official said the affected sinks and fountains have been turned off and families have been notified.

Many of the schools with elevated lead levels were just above federal action levels — however, the Environmental Protection Agency says there’s no safe level of lead. One sink at Beidler Elementary School in East Garfield Park showed levels more than seven times higher than the federal standard. And at Brentano Elementary in Logan Square, a kitchen sink tested at more than three-and-a-half times the action level.

“Given heightened awareness nationally about lead exposure for children and to provide parents with timely information, Chicago Public Schools is taking proactive steps to ensure that our children’s drinking water is safe across all schools by testing every school in the district,” said district spokesman Michael Passman.

The district will continue to test schools throughout the summer and fall. 

CPS has now released results from Reilly Elementary School after retesting on June 8.

The Avondale school’s results show the highest lead level yet for any drinking fountain tested: 340 parts per billion. That’s more than 22 times higher than the EPA action level. 

The following schools’ test results showed lead levels elevated above the Environmental Protection Agency’s Action Level: Find the full list of all schools’ test results as they’re made available here.

Beidler (1 sink)

Brentano (1 drinking fountain and 1 sink for handwashing in kitchen)

Budlong (1 sink)

Esmond (1 drinking fountain)

Fernwood (2 drinking fountains)

Harvard (1 drinking fountain)

Lasalle II (1 sink)

Locke J (1 sink)

Peirce (1 drinking fountain)

Perez (1 drinking fountain)

Tanner (4 drinking fountains)

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