You are hereHome >
We’re working to ensure every single child in Washington has access to lead-free drinking water at school. (Photo: Fountain - jasongillman via pixabay CC0 Public Domain)
Every single child in Washington should have access to lead-free drinking water at school.
Events like the Flint water crisis have shocked people across the country and put a national spotlight on the problem of lead in drinking water. Yet despite this, Washington has been slow to ensure all children at school are fully protected from this danger.
Lead is a highly toxic heavy metal that impairs how kids learn, grow, and behave. Even low levels of lead exposure can permanently damage children's brains, kidneys, and overall health. Put simply, there is no safe level of lead in water.
But in Washington, many school buildings were built using lead pipes and plumbing, back when we didn’t fully understand the danger.
Now we do, and have banned the use of lead in new pipes and plumbing. But in the many schools which still have these old lead pipes or fixtures, lead can leach into the water that kids drink from fountains or bathroom sinks.
Our children shouldn’t have to deal with the consequences of bad decisions we made decades ago — that’s just not a trade-off we should be willing to make.
Unfortunately, Washington schools aren’t required to perform regular and comprehensive tests for lead in drinking water, or to replace the pipes if there’s a threat of lead exposure to our kids.
This isn’t right. Our children deserve better than to have their health and safety put in jeopardy when they take a drink of water at school.
That’s why WashPIRG is calling on the state legislature to ensure every single child in Washington has access to lead-free drinking water at school. We are calling for mandatory testing, public results, and funding set aside to fix the problems where they exist.
It's hard to imagine a more fundamental public health protection for our kids, and they depend on us to help keep them safe. Help us make sure we can live up to this promise as parents, as a community, and as Washingtonians.
It’s unconscionable that some of our most vulnerable populations and their caregivers are being put in such danger during a global pandemic. But it doesn’t have to be this way — not if our country acts right now to ramp up production and distribution of PPE to where it’s needed most.
Whether you have a loved one currently in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility, or whether you’re shopping for one, you should arm yourself with a list of questions to gauge how safe the environment is. Here’s a guide to those questions, and the answers you should expect.
Each week, we’ll be posting a round-up of short stories from across our network from staff experiencing various COVID-related issues, and what they did about them.
To keep the sickest people alive during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we need ventilators. We don’t have them — and that says something about our priorities.
A new investigation by ProPublica, along with reporting by numerous other outlets, has revealed that suppliers are using the COVID-19 public health emergency to drive up prices exorbitantly on medical equipment.
Economists from leading universities have signed an open letter to decision-makers urging them to scale back reopening in states that fail to meet public health benchmarks, saying the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus will continue as long as the virus goes uncontained.
The U.S. Senate has passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes $15 million for studying PFAS in drinking water. Toxic PFAS chemicals have been linked to serious health problems such as cancer and liver damage.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever, we need to work together to ensure that our government has a coordinated, strategic response to safeguard the public’s health, protect consumers from emerging dangers and ensure people can still participate fully in our democracy.
U.S. PIRG and a coalition of leading public health and medical groups are urging U.S. senators to establish central, transparent coordination of the medical supply chain in the next coronavirus stimulus package in order to get medical supplies to the areas that need it most.
Your donation supports WashPIRG’s work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.