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High Levels Of Lead And Copper Force Detroit Public Schools To Shut Off Drinking Fountains

Image form Pixnio

Approximately 47,000 students in Detroit will begin school this week with no drinking water in their schools.

Last Wednesday, the public school district of Detroit announced they would be shutting off the drinking fountains in 106 of the city’s schools due to tests that showed dangerous levels of lead and copper in their drinking water.

Of the 24 schools that were tested, results for 16 came back as contaminated. Though it’s inconclusive whether or not all of the city’s schools have unsafe drinking water, the school district is taking the safety and welfare of its students seriously, shutting down all the fountains.

In a statement, Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said:

Although we have no evidence that there are elevated levels of copper or lead in our other schools where we are awaiting test results. Out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of our students and employees, I am turning off all drinking water in our schools until a deeper and broader analysis can be conducted to determine the long-term solutions for all schools.

Here the news on Twitter:

Commenters expressed their concern and outrage:

The presence of copper in water can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Lead’s poisonous effects on children have been well documented.

According to an article in Popular Science:  

…lead is toxic, and if it makes its way into the still-developing brains of young children, many of the effects can be permanent. Lead can change how signals are passed within the brain, how memories are stored, even how cells get their energy, resulting in life-long learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and lower IQs.

Detroit isn’t the only state having environmental issues in its schools:

Others seemed less concerned:

For now, Detroit students will be forced to drink bottled water and hope the school district finds a solution soon.

H/T: Gizmodo, TwitterPixnio


Written by Vanessa Nix Anthony

Vanessa is a freelance-flame-haired-word-ninja-for-hire with a passion for storytelling. Her writing has been featured in The Oregonian, Baltimore Magazine, Oregonlive, KPTV, Metro Parent, and Trulia, among others. She’s the author of the Amazon title, “In Less than a Year,” and her successful Portland-based copywriting agency, The Portland Writer has been helping businesses tell their brand’s unique stories for over a decade. When she’s not writing, cooking, or making magical worlds out of cardboard for her son, Vanessa is hard at work illustrating her forthcoming children’s books or belting out karaoke to favorite 80s or Disney villains tunes. TWITTER: @nessnix, INSTA: @nessnixtony