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Chadwick Elementary, Baltimore Highlands Elementary Test Positive For Dangerous Lead Levels

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — If a student could drink from it, Baltimore County will be testing it.

A 2017 state law requires schools to test for lead in water, and so far Baltimore County has found unacceptable levels in more than a dozen elementary schools, including Chadwick Elementary.

Some parents said they had no idea.

"I mean, lead is poisonous and can affect a child into adulthood, so this is very concerning," said Camille Strawder.

Lead levels higher than 20 parts per billion trigger regulatory action from the state.

But results from some County schools are higher than that.

The sole problem spot at Chadwick Elementary was a hand sink, that read 35 parts per billion.

At Baltimore Highlands, a hand sink had a reading of 106 parts per billion.

Doctors said lead is only dangerous if it's ingested, but the effects on a child are irreversible.

"Lead poisoning has been associated with all sorts of brain issues with children because the lead goes into the brain and it's associated with attention deficit disorder, lower IQ points..." said Dr. Scott Krugman, Vice Chair of Dept. of Pediatrics at Sinai Hospital.

Baltimore County officials said they take their students' health "extremely seriously" and while they change out faulty faucets, students will get bottled water instead.

For Laurencia Hutton-Rogers, a parent, a public health professor, she said still has faith in the school system.

"I am concerned because of the effects it has on developing children's brains, but hopefully they take the appropriate measures to address it," Hutton-Rogers said.

Testing has only been completed in elementary schools so far, and some schools had no issues.

In cases where there was a positive reading, it could just be one old faucet that needed replacing.

A full list of schools and where they stand can be found here.

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