Lead found in the water of almost 50 schools in Delaware caused state officials to shut off the water supply in at least one of them. The Delaware Division of Public Health in early October advised school officials at Wallace Wallin School in New Castle to shut off the school’s water supply due to elevated levels of lead. School officials complied prior to the start of the 2022 school year and are using bottled water.
The state detected up to 12 times the accepted level of lead when testing the water in a break room for Wallace Wallin School staff. Wallace Wallin is just one of 47 schools in Delaware whose water supply contains lead.
Delaware Public Health officials say some of the lead-tainted waters found were for uses other than drinking.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that no amount of lead is safe because even very low levels could cause harm, especially to young children. The Delaware Department of Public Health is continuing to test and monitor the lead in the water.
Accumulation of lead could lead to poisoning. Lead poisoning could cause several health complications, including:
Small children are especially vulnerable and might suffer from stunted growth or physical development. Damage to the kidneys or nervous system is possible.
Lead poisoning might make you feel nauseous and experience abdominal pain. It also could cause constipation, weight loss, or a loss of appetite. Lead poisoning could lead to mood changes as well.
Pregnant women might give birth to infants that have a lower birth weight or other complications, including miscarriage.
Adults could suffer from hypertension, high blood pressure, or headaches. Joint and muscle pain are among the many potential health complications.
Lead is a heavy metal that is toxic. When found in public water supplies, older lead pipes are often the culprit of the water contamination.
A well-known example is the lead contamination in the Flint, Michigan water supply. The contamination occurred after Flint officials switched the city’s water source, which eroded a protective layer of lime buildup within the city’s water pipes. This resulted in unsafe levels of lead in the city’s water supply that continues to be a problem several years after its discovery.
In Delaware, public health officials have not identified any sources of lead contamination at the 47 afflicted schools. Testing might help identify the causes.
If you believe you have an illness from contaminated water, find out your legal options today. Speak with one of our Wilmington environmental lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. for legal assistance. Call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we represent clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.