Water Testing

03.07.2019 K101_K101 2018 Cohort Post Remediation Letter

March 7, 2019

Dear Families and Staff:

This is a follow up to a 11/14/2018 water test results notification letter. I am pleased to share we have successfully completed remediation work at P.S. 101 – Brooklyn (P.S. 101 The Verrazano at 2360 Benson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11214). On 10/11/2018, all operational sources of water at P.S. 101 – Brooklyn, including for drinking or cooking, were tested for the presence of lead.  The final laboratory results indicate that there are no elevated levels of lead in any of the fixtures.

Details of prior elevated results are attached and complete test results are posted on the DOE website at https://www.schools.nyc.gov/schools/K101. Click “Data and Reports” and look for the “Facilities” heading.

Out of an abundance of caution, the custodial staff will continue to flush the P.S. 101 – Brooklyn water systems on Monday mornings and after holidays before school starts, in order to eliminate water that has been stagnant in pipes over the weekend. This is part of our robust protocol to ensure safe drinking water is available for students and staff.

Please visit https://www.schools.nyc.gov/about-us/reports/water-safety to learn more about the protocol we use to ensure the safety of drinking water in each and every school.

Thank you for your patience and support and we wish you and your students a wonderful remainder of the school year.

Sincerely yours,

Lauren Siciliano

 

A NOTICE TO PARENTS, GUARDIANS, AND STAFF

P.S. 101 – Brooklyn

P.S. 101 The Verrazano

2360 Benson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11214

March 7, 2019

 

Safe and healthy school environments can foster healthy and successful children. To protect public health, the Public Health Law and New York State Health Department (NYSDOH) regulations require that all public schools and boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES) test lead levels in water from every outlet that is being used, or could potentially be used, for drinking or cooking. If lead is found at any water outlet at levels above 15 parts per billion (ppb), which is equal to 15 micrograms per liter (µg/L), the NYSDOH requires that the school take action to reduce the exposure to lead.

 

What is first draw testing of school drinking water for lead?

The “on-again, off-again” nature of water use at most schools can raise lead levels in school drinking water. Water that remains in pipes overnight, over a weekend, or over vacation periods stays in contact with lead pipes or lead solder and, as a result, could contain higher levels of lead. This is why schools are required to collect a sample after the water has been sitting in the plumbing system for a certain period of time. This “first draw” sample is likely to show higher levels of lead for that outlet than what you would see if you sampled after using the water continuously. However, even if the first draw sample does not reflect what you would see with continuous usage, it is still important because it can identify outlets that have elevated lead levels.

 

What are the initial first draw testing elevation results?

Samples Collected on 10/11/2018
Floor Function/ Space Closest Room Fixture Type Sample Results (ppb)
2 Classroom 212 Bubbler 360.0
2 Office 255 Cold Water Faucet 40.9

 

What are the post-remediation testing results?

Samples Collected on 2/22/2019
Floor Function/ Space Room Fixture Type First Draw Sample Results Second Draw Sample Results
2 Classroom 212 Bubbler 1.0 NA*

*Second draw samples are only analyzed if first draw samples are above 15 ppb.

 

Notes
Floor Function/ Space Room Fixture Type Notes
2 Office 255 Cold Water Faucet Fixture permanently removed from service

 

What is being done in response to the results?

All drinking and cooking water outlets that tested with lead levels above the action level (15 ppb) were removed from service, and remediated.

 

What are the health effects of lead?

Lead is a metal that can harm children and adults when it gets into their bodies. Lead is a known neurotoxin, particularly harmful to the developing brain and nervous system of children under 6 years old. Lead can harm a young child’s growth, behavior, and ability to learn. Lead exposure during pregnancy may contribute to low birth weight and developmental delays in infants. There are many sources of lead exposure in the environment, and it is important to reduce all lead exposures as much as possible. Water testing helps identify and correct possible sources of lead that contribute to exposure from drinking water.

 

What are the other sources of lead exposure?

Lead is a metal that has been used for centuries for many purposes, resulting in widespread distribution in the environment.  Major sources of lead exposure include lead-based paint in older housing, and lead that built up over decades in soil and dust due to historical use of lead in gasoline, paint, and manufacturing. Lead can also be found in a number of consumer products, including certain types of pottery, pewter, brass fixtures, foods, plumbing materials, and cosmetics. Lead seldom occurs naturally in water supplies but drinking water could become a possible source of lead exposure if the building’s plumbing contains lead. The primary source of lead exposure for most children with elevated blood-lead levels is lead-based paint.

 

Should your child be tested for lead?

The risk to an individual child from past exposure to elevated lead in drinking water depends on many factors; for example, a child’s age, weight, amount of water consumed, and the amount of lead in the water. Children may also be exposed to other significant sources of lead including paint, soil and dust. Since blood lead testing is the only way to determine a child’s blood lead level, parents should discuss their child’s health history with their child’s physician to determine if blood lead testing is appropriate. Pregnant women or women of childbearing age should also consider discussing this matter with their physician.

 

Do elevated lead levels in school drinking water pose a serious risk to students and staff?

The risk to students and staff is low for many reasons. The elevated lead levels identified by the recent round of water testing are not likely to represent the levels seen throughout the day. The recent testing was conducted on water that had remained in pipes overnight. The lead concentration drops sharply after the first use of the day as stagnant water is cleared from the pipes and new, fresh water is brought in from the water main – which is virtually lead-free. In addition, for most students and staff, the amount of water consumed from a school water source during a school day is likely to be small when compared to total daily water consumption. Many of the elevated water samples came from fixtures that are not typically used for drinking, including bathrooms, slop sinks, and laboratories. Given all of these factors it is unlikely that these elevations represent conditions that would pose a health risk, however, if a person drinks sufficiently large quantities of water at those high levels over long periods of time, the risk increases. Nonetheless, if you are concerned about exposure to lead, talk to your doctor about having you or your child tested for lead poisoning.

 

Who is at risk for lead poisoning?

Children under 3 years of age are the most susceptible and vulnerable to the health effects of lead. Lead also poses a risk to the developing fetus. Exposure to lead may interfere with a child’s growth and development.

 

What do we know about rates of lead poisoning in NYC children?

Rates of lead poisoning among NYC children have been falling. In 2015, 5,371 New York City children younger than 6 years of age were identified with blood lead levels of 5 mcg/dL or greater. This represents an 18% decline from 2014 when there were 6,550 children with blood lead levels of 5 mcg/dL or greater, and an 86% decline since 2005 when there were 37,344 children with blood lead levels of 5mcg/dL or greater.

 

Additional Resources

 

For more information regarding the testing program or sampling results go to:

https://www.schools.nyc.gov/about-us/reports/water-safety

 

For information about lead in school drinking water, go to:

http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/lead/lead_testing_of_school_drinking_water.htm

 

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/facplan/LeadTestinginSchoolDrinkingWater.html

 

For information about NYS Department of Health Lead Poisoning Prevention, go to:  http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/lead/

 

For more information on blood lead testing and ways to reduce your child’s risk of exposure to lead, see “What Your Child’s Blood Lead Test Means”:

http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2526/ (available in ten languages).

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s