Lead Hazards in California's Public Elementary Schools and Child Care Facilities: Report to the California State Legislature

Web Abstract: 
In response to California's 1992 Lead-Safe Schools Protection Act, the state's Department of Health Services conducted a study of the extent of lead contamination in paint, soil, and water in California schools. Data were collected in the field between 1995 and 1997. This report presents the study findings to the state legislature and makes recommendations for ensuring that all California schools are lead-safe schools. Findings and recommendations are as follows. (1) As is the case with housing in California and across the nation, lead-containing paint is present in most California public elementary schools and child care facilities. With proper training, resources, and support, it can be managed safely as part of standard maintenance and operations practices. (2) If lead-safe work practices are instituted and continued over time, they are safer, more efficient, and more cost effective than wholesale removal of lead-containing paint. (3) The lead content of bare soil may be elevated if the soil is close to painted exterior walls. Simple steps can eliminate potential exposure hazards. (4) Lead may be present in drinking water in about 18 percent of schools and child care facilities. A testing, remediation, and replacement program will identify and eliminate this potential source of exposure. The report concludes with the Department of Health Services' action plan and several recommendations.
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