The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health experts say even low levels of lead in children's blood can result in behavior and learning problems, lower IQ, slowed growth and other problems.
The schools Carstarphen identified as having elevated lead levels had concentrations above 15 parts per billion. That’s the level above which water systems, such as Atlanta Watershed, are generally required to try to reduce lead in drinking water.
Seven of the school fountains or sinks with elevated lead levels showed lower levels after workers flushed water lines or replaced fixtures.
No federal or Georgia law requires water in schools or daycare centers to be tested for lead. Atlanta is the only metro-area school district to test school drinking water system-wide.
Atlanta’s testing was prompted by the national focus on lead in drinking water after dangerous lead levels were found in the water supply of Flint, Mich., district operations chief Larry Hoskins told the AJC last month. Dozens of school districts nationally have started testing, and lead has been found in cities including Chicago, Newark, Portland, and Washington, D.C.
>>Read more: Elevated lead levels found at half of Atlanta schools tested
>>Read more: Lead in Atlanta schools: Is your school’s drinking water safe?