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EPA Announces Partnership to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposure at Schools and Childcare Facilities

10/03/2019
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON (October 3, 2019) - Today, in recognition of Children's Health Month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to further support efforts that reduce lead in drinking water at schools and child care facilities. The commitments made in this MOU will provide safer and healthier environments for children across the country.

"In accordance with Children's Health Month, the Trump Administration is forging an important new partnership to reduce childhood lead exposure in schools and childcare facilities," said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "This MOU supports the Lead Action Plan and brings together more than a dozen partners across the government and private sector to enhance our efforts to test for and address harmful lead exposure."

This new MOU provides a framework for a coordinated approach between more than a dozen critical partners across the federal government, tribes, water utilities and the public health community. The commitments of the MOU support the Lead Action Plan, which provides a blueprint for reducing lead exposure and associated harms by working with a range of stakeholders, including states, tribes and local communities, along with businesses, property owners and parents. One existing effort that is further supported by this MOU is EPA's 3Ts-training, testing and taking action-for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in School and Child Care Facilities.

The MOU:

  • Highlights each partner's commitment to work to help ensure that children in schools and childcare facilities are provided with safe drinking water.
  • Encourages supporting activities that provide education on health concerns associated with lead in drinking water; assists in the development of a lead testing program utilizing the EPA's 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in School and Child Care Facilities; and helps schools and child care facilities establish a sustainable and effective lead in drinking water testing program.
  • Promotes collaboration in the development of materials, training and tools to assist schools and child care facilities in reducing lead in drinking water.
  • Allows for better identification of appropriate networks, associations and organizations to partner with to develop communication materials for schools and child care facilities. 

To read the MOU and related information visit: https://www.epa.gov/safewater/3Ts

Background

Since the 1970s, the United States has made tremendous progress in lowering children's blood lead levels. Despite the overall decline of blood lead levels over time, lead remains a significant public health concern for some children because of persistent lead hazards in the environment. Recognizing that children spend large portions of their days in schools and child care facilities, EPA suggests that these facilities implement programs for reducing lead in drinking water as part of their overall plans for maintaining healthy learning environments.

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