Water for D.C. Kids.org .

Families seeking healthy water solutions for the children of the District of Columbia:   

Free bottled water, filters for poor women, infants and children; rebates for taxpayers; expedited lead line replacement

full disclosure, mapping of lead affected areas, comprehensive testing of city schools, recreations centers, libraries,

and licensed child care facilities, public outreach and education, particularly among hard-to-reach populations

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3/19  2 Area School Districts Restrict Water Use while D.C. does the opposite although tests reveal 9 schools with high lead levels

March 25      Lead in Soil, Dust of Children Testing with Excessive Lead Levels

3/19 Tests Show High Lead Levels In D.C. Children

News !! 3/17 Lead Risk Worst for Fetuses, Children

"Lead Tests By Va. City Find Few Problems"

News!!! 3/14 3% of D.C. Children Tested Have High Lead Levels; Medical Officials Call

                    for Broader Screening  

  3/8 Where to Get Free Filters if you have lead service lines

3/9 Additional Testing of Schools, Child-Serving Facilities to Be Done. Details

Question: What Constitutes A High Level of Lead in the Blood for Children?

  Answer:  10 micrograms; In adults = 25 micrograms (CDC)



New Findings on Lead Poisoning in Children

"The Long Search for the Cause of A Baby's Lead Poisoning"

A Conversation with Johns Hopkins pediatrician Lynn Goldberg, Washington Post online

D.C. Promises Filters for Daycares & lead line serviced daycares, houses with children!

New! High Lead Levels in 9 D.C. public, several archdiocese schools)

Pregnant Women and Children Under age 6 in lead-line serviced residences urged to stop drinking unfiltered tap water!!  See advisory!!

Scheduling Blood Testing

Effects of Lead on Infants and Young Children

Experts Differ Local Pediatrician and Expert Dr. Jerome Paulson

High Levels Hurt Developing Children; Danger Hard to Gauge

City to test water in public schools; Private school testing underway  See results!!

EPA Guidance on Lead in Schools and Day Care Settings;

Clearinghouse on lead in educational facilities



1.  Scheduling Blood Lead Testing

     Private Practitioners.  One large hospital pediatric practice, deluged with requests for blood lead tests on young children, after the lead story broke, established a policy of refusing to administer tests to children over one year of age.  Please contact us with any information that you have about the accessibility of blood lead testing.

      D.C. Department of Health Testing.  To Schedule a Blood Lead Test with the D.C. Department of Health, please contact (202)535-2690.


2.  Effects of Lead on Infants and Young Children

Experts differ on the health effects of lead testing, particularly on young children.  Please see this article for that discussion:  Experts on Health Effects:   February 3, 2004 Experts Differ on Threat in D.C. Tap Water.  

Also see Actions You Can Take To Reduce Lead in Drinking Water (by the US EPA)

According to this EPA publication, health threats from lead are grave.  The document states that "(t)oo much lead in the human body can cause serious damage to the brain, kidneys, nervous system, and red blood cells. You have the greatest risk, even with short term exposure, if:  you are a young child, or you are pregnant."

Of particular concern to many Washington residents is the impact that lead poisoning can have on children under age 6, unborn children through their pregnant mothers, and infants through formula mixtures and breast milk.

Local Pediatrician and Expert: Dr. Jerome Paulson,  www.health-e-kids.org

According to Dr. Jerome Paulson, pediatrician, George Washington University and the Mid Atlantic Center for Children's Health and the Environment, in testimony before the City Council of Washington D.C on the matter of lead in drinking water (see http://www.health-e-kids.org), on February 4, 2004.  Lead poisoning is a public health problem (although lead from paint poses the greatest danger). 


Highlights from testimony of Dr. Paulson:

Lead is a cumulative neurotoxin in children.

Small amounts build up and have the potential to cause brain damage.

Children drink more water per pound per day than adults.

They absorb a larger proportion of lead than do adults.

Lead has the greatest potential for damage in the immature brain:  prior to birth and within the first few years of birth.


Also at risk are the offspring of lead-exposed pregnant women.  The risk is related to how much builds in the body.  The effects range from attention deficit to language problems.  The effects are irreversible. 


See Dr. Paulson's criteria for who should be tested and which levels of lead exposure are toxic. 


There is disagreement about the levels that cause damage in children.


Lead Testing in schools and day care settings.  See the following:


EPA Guidance on Lead in Schools and Day Care Settings