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.”
NJ .com: New tool lets you see if there’s lead in the water at your school. “For parents who want to know if there is lead in the water at their kid’s school, finding the answer is now a little bit easier. On Thursday, the New Jersey Department of Education launched a new website to serve as a centralized database with information about lead testing in Garden State schools.”
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 . “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!
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.”
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.”
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.”