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Unsafe Levels Of Lead Found In Drinking Fountains At 2 Boston Schools

BOSTON (CBS) - Unsafe levels of lead were found in drinking fountains at two Boston schools and parents are demanding answers.

At Rafael Hernandez School in Roxbury, a fountain had lead levels of more than two times the state standard.

It was even worse at Kenny School in Dorchester, where four water fountains tested positive for lead contamination. The fountains were immediately shut down.

Letters went home with students about the issue. Children are more susceptible to serious health impacts if there is lead in drinking water.

"There are 38 schools that have active water fountains," said Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang. "We've tested 26 of those. And we know that two of the schools have elevated levels."

Chang says they are still waiting on results from the other schools. He says the district is being transparent and has gone above and beyond state requirements to perform the tests.

"We immediately notified parents," Chang said. "There will be more communication, more questions and answers that will be provided for parents."

While Chang says it is too soon to know what caused the elevated lead levels, Mayor Marty Walsh pledged that the city is already taking action.

"We have some old pipes that come into our schools and we have to go back and fix those pipes," Mayor Walsh said. "We cannot have kids, our kids drinking water that has lead."

The school district is offering options to parents who want to have their kids tested for lead exposure. If they are concerned they should speak with BPS Health Services.

In the meantime, these schools are now offering bottled water.

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