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Newark Schools Knew of Elevated Lead Levels Since 2003

The news about higher levels of lead found in Newark schools’ water is still flowing. The Wall Street Journal reported that Newark’s water contamination is not a new issue, and that approximately 12 percent of the total 2,067 water samples tested between 2012 and 2015, showed lead levels above the federal limit of 15 parts per billion. In 2016, out of the 657 water collections tested, 10 percent proved to be at similar levels of lead content as the tested samples in earlier years. Furthermore, Fox News Health reported that the lead issue dates further back than 2012, pointing to the school district’s knowledge of elevated limits as early as 2003.

Since March, 2016 Newark’s school district has cut off water supplies to sinks and fountains in 30 of its schools. The district has also offered lead testing for students attending those schools. Recently, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that various water sources in Newark schools, such as old sinks, were found to have elevated lead levels as far back as 2003. The EPA spokesman, John Martin, stated that at that time, two schools tested above federal limits. The EPA did offer to help the district remedy the lead situation after the two schools were found to have a high lead water content, but was turned down by Newark School District based on the availability of an internal remediation program.

To that end, Newark School District Superintendent Christopher Cerf admitted that there have been lead issues in the schools for at least 10 years. Furthermore, it was stated that the district has taken various steps to remedy the high lead water content such as attaching water filters and installing new faucets. Currently, the school district is working with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the EPA to remedy the current situation.

High levels of lead can cause many health problems, including stunted development in children, and cognitive and behavioral impairment. If you feel you or your family have been exposed to high levels of lead, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the New York City premises liability attorneys at Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP at (212) 571-7171.

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