July 13 2017
Dear Parents and Staff,
Our school system is committed to protecting student, teacher, and staff health. To protect our community and be in compliance with the Department of Education regulations, the Paterson Arts and Science Charter School District tested our schools’ drinking water for lead. The results from our water samples were received on May 11 2017.
Results of our Testing
Following instructions given in technical guidance developed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, we completed a plumbing profile for each of the buildings within the Paterson Arts and Science Charter School District. Through this effort, we identified and tested all drinking water and food preparation outlets. Of the 12 samples taken, all tested below the lead action level established by the US Environmental Protection Agency for lead in drinking water (15 µg/l [ppb]).
Information Regarding Lead in Drinking Water Health Effects of Lead
High levels of lead in drinking water can cause health problems. Lead is most dangerous for pregnant women, infants, and children under 6 years of age. It can cause damage to the brain and kidneys, and can interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of your body. Exposure to high levels of lead during pregnancy contributes to low birth weight and developmental delays in infants. In young children, lead exposure can lower IQ levels, affect hearing, reduce attention span, and hurt school performance. At very high levels, lead can even cause brain damage. Adults with kidney problems and high blood pressure can be affected by low levels of lead more than healthy adults.
How Lead Enters our Water
Lead is unusual among drinking water contaminants in that it seldom occurs naturally in water supplies like groundwater, rivers and lakes. Lead enters drinking water primarily as a result of the corrosion, or wearing away, of materials containing lead in the water distribution system and in building plumbing. These materials include lead-based solder used to join copper pipe, brass, and chrome-plated brass faucets. In 1986, Congress banned the use of lead solder containing greater than 0.2% lead, and restricted the lead content of faucets, pipes and other plumbing materials. However, even the lead in plumbing materials meeting these new requirements is subject to corrosion. When water stands in lead pipes or plumbing systems containing lead for several hours or more, the lead may dissolve into the drinking water. This means the first water drawn from the tap in the morning may contain fairly high levels of lead.
Lead in Drinking Water
Lead in drinking water, although rarely the sole cause of lead poisoning can significantly increase a person’s total lead exposure, particularly the exposure of children under the age of 6. EPA estimates that drinking water can make up 20% or more of a person’s total exposure to lead.
For More Information
A copy of the test results is available in our central office for inspection by the public, including students, teachers, other school personnel, and parents, and can be viewed between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and are also available on our website at http://patersoncharter.org/lead-testing-results/ Paterson Arts and Science Charter School Lead Testing Results. For more information about water quality in our schools, contact Recep Arslan, Director of Facilities and Investment at 201 773 9140 extension 140.
For more information on reducing lead exposure around your home and the health effects of lead, visit EPA’s Web site at www.epa.gov/lead, call the National Lead Information Center at 800-424-LEAD, or contact your health care provider.
If you are concerned about lead exposure at this facility or in your home, you may want to ask your health care providers about testing children to determine levels of lead in their blood.
Director of Facilities and Investment