LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A report released Thursday on lead contamination levels in school drinking water gave California a passing grade on the issue, although it found that most of the nation was failing.
In total, 22 of the 31 states tested received a failing grade when it comes to “protecting children from lead in water at school.” California was one of three states to get a C+ in the report from the Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund. The other two states were Oregon and New York.
Illinois was given a B, and was only state to receive a grade above a C, along with the Washington, D.C., which got a B+.
According to the report, more than 400 schools in California had lead levels at concentrations of 5 parts per billion (ppb) or higher. Under California law, schools are required to ensure that lead levels do not go above 15 ppb.
The California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) has created an interactive map where you can find out if your school has been tested and whether it measured for level levels above 5 ppb.
In 2016, the California Legislature passed a law requiring that all public water systems across the state to find and replace any lead pipes. In 2017, it passed a law requiring all schools, preschools and daycare centers to have their drinking water outlets tested for lead by July 1, 2019.
“CALPIRG is calling on school districts throughout the state to proactively install filters on drinking water fountains, test every outlet for lead, and commit to replacing pipes and plumbing fixtures wherever it is needed to get tests down to less than 1 ppb lead,” CALPIRG said in a news release.