EPA Awards Inter Tribal Council of Arizona $1,581,000 to Protect Children from Lead in Drinking Water
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded $1,581,000 to the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA) to help identify sources of lead in drinking water in schools or child care facilities. The funding will help protect children and helps advance the federal action plan to reduce childhood lead exposures. ITCA's lead testing project will offer testing to schools and childcare facilities on the Navajo Nation and Tribes in California, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico.
“Reducing lead exposure for children is a top priority for EPA,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Jordan. "We are very pleased to continue working with our partner states and tribes to help reduce lead in schools and childcare facilities.”
ITCA’s funding was awarded under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act for states, territories, and tribes to test for lead in schools and childcare facilities. The Voluntary Lead Testing in Schools and Child Care Drinking Water grant program continues to help protect children’s health and make progress under the Federal Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures.
The grants support EPA’s action plan for reducing lead in school drinking water—Training, Testing, and Taking Action, or the 3 Ts. This toolkit helps prepare schools, childcare facilities, and states to build a voluntary implementation program to reduce lead levels in drinking water with detailed training modules and materials. Learn more about the 3 Ts here: https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/3ts-reducing-lead-drinking-water
Children can be more vulnerable to pollutants than adults, which can lead to greater exposure and/or unique windows of susceptibility during development. This is especially true of lead—an exposure that would have little effect on an adult can have a significant effect on a child. In fetuses, infants and children, low levels of exposure have been linked to damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, learning disabilities, shorter stature, impaired hearing, and impaired formation and function of blood cells. Lead in drinking water is one of the main ways children can be exposed to lead.
Learn more about and EPA’s WIIN grant programs at https://www.epa.gov/dwcapacity/wiin-grant-lead-testing-school-and-child-care-program-drinking-water
Learn more about lead exposure and other children’s health issues at https://www.epa.gov/children
Results of ITCA’s testing program are available here: https://www.itcaonline.com/