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EPA Provides $800,000 to Research Lead in Well Water and Its Impacts on Children

Contact Information: 
James Pinkney (
(404) 562-9183 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main)

ATLANTA (March 21, 2018) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced funding to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) to examine lead in well water and its potential impact on children’s developmental health. 

“Childhood lead exposure is a serious health concern across the country,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.  “Addressing childhood lead exposure from drinking water sources is a top EPA priority, and this important research will advance our goal to help all communities, including those serviced by private water wells.”

Working with the State of North Carolina and using healthcare, education, and water infrastructure data for their research, the UNC team will assess the association between lead in private well water and children’s blood lead levels.

Since private drinking water wells are not routinely monitored for lead, the funds provided to UNC will enhance their current research efforts, which includes a program for evaluating lead in drinking water at childcare centers in schools.

Reducing childhood lead exposure and addressing associated health impacts is a top priority for the Trump Administration and EPA. 

On February 16, Administrator Pruitt hosted key members of the Trump Administration to collaborate on the development and implementation of a new Federal Strategy to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Eliminate Associated Health Impacts.  The President’s Task Force aims to make addressing childhood lead exposure a priority for their respective departments and agencies.

Background on President’s Task Force and the challenges of childhood lead exposure: 

Lead exposure, particularly at higher doses, continues to pose a significant health and safety threat to children, preventing them from reaching the fullest potential of their health, their intellect, and their future. No blood lead level is safe for children. EPA and our federal partners are committed to a collaborative approach to address this threat, and improve health outcomes for our nation’s most vulnerable citizens – our children.

More information about lead: