Route Fifty: Kids Are Missing Critical Windows for Lead Testing Due to Pandemic

Route Fifty: Kids Are Missing Critical Windows for Lead Testing Due to Pandemic. “In the Upper Midwest, Northeast and parts of the West Coast — areas with historically high rates of lead poisoning — the slide has been the most dramatic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In states such as Michigan, Ohio and Minnesota, testing for the brain-damaging heavy metal fell by 50% or more this spring compared with 2019, health officials report.”

PR Newswire: The Lead in School Drinking Water Database (PRESS RELEASE)

PR Newswire: The Lead in School Drinking Water Database (PRESS RELEASE). “The Lead In School Water Project is the first web-based application to rank and track every US state in terms of school-related lead exposure, testing and policy. This project’s goal is to provide a free public resource for parents, facility managers and regulators to monitor the latest data on their school’s waterborne lead concentrations.”

Undark: In ToxicDocs. org, a Treasure Trove of Industry Secrets

Undark: In ToxicDocs.org, a Treasure Trove of Industry Secrets . “The site officially launched last Friday with an initial 20 million pages of material focused on six toxic substances: asbestos, benzene, lead, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), polyvinyl chloride, and silica, and millions more pages are coming.” The whole article is worth a read; in particular, the problems solved to process five million pages of documents with OCR. “A recent batch of about 1.5 million pages only required about three days to convert to OCR.” Yow!

Checking Drinking Water in Oregon Schools for Lead

A new online resource lets visitors check lead levels in the drinking water of Oregon schools. “State health and education officials have launched a database for accessing water test results for lead in Oregon schools. The tool provides an interactive map of Oregon and displays results for individual school buildings across the state. The mapping tool acts as a one-time source for sharing information as schools transition from providing individual test results on their websites to submitting Healthy and Safe School Facilities plans to the Oregon Department of Education in 2017.”

Google Wants to Help the Folks in Flint

Google wants to help the people in Flint, Michigan. “Access to clean drinking water is a concern all over the world, but in the United States it’s often a foregone conclusion. That is not the case recently for the residents of Flint, Michigan, many of whom we now know have been exposed to lead in their tap water. It’s a crisis, one to which the American people readily responded by donating water and resources to help alleviate the immediate pain. But the problem won’t go away quickly, and understanding its extent is both challenging and an absolute necessity. Today, Google.org is providing $250,000 to partners in the Flint community to help, with a special focus on a technical solution for understanding and resolving the crisis for the long term.”

Did Google Trends Predict the Flint Water Crisis?

Wow: Did Google Trends Predict the Flint Water Crisis? “The graph below shows Google trends from the search term ‘lead water’ within the city’s geographic region when compared to the State of Michigan, and the United States as a whole….It shows that residents started searching for ‘lead water’ almost as soon as the City of Flint switched its water source. Further, we can see that residents continued to search for lead water long before any elected official or emergency manager seemed to realize there was an issue.”

Water Quality at New York City Schools

Since the horrible discoveries in Flint Michigan, there’s a lot of concern about lead in water all around the country. New York City has created a Web site showing the lead levels in the water of NYC schools. “On Wednesday, the Department of Education launched a searchable database of schools that have been tested since 2002, when the agency first made testing a priority. The search function allows users to look up schools by name and see whether a test has been performed, whether elevated lead levels were found, and what action was taken to address the issue. Where lead contamination was found, the results list the date of the test, and some date back as far as 2004.”