FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – An alert for parents of some young students at a Fayetteville elementary school after lead was been found in some of the water the school uses.
The problem was discovered in two kitchen faucets at Loyd Auman Elementary School during mandated routine testing.
Fortunately, the school is closed for summer break, so preventing further exposure is easy.
The problem is officials don’t know how long students were exposed, so they are going back six months in their calls for student testing.
Dr. Jennifer Green, the director of the Cumberland County Health Department, said it’s unclear how the lead got into the pipes.
“It’s part of our investigation,” she said.
As part of its probe, the health department is offering free blood testing to any student who attended school there in the last six months. Tests available 8 .a.m – 5 p.m. at the public health headquarters at 1235 Ramsey St. Walk-ins will be accepted. No appointments are needed.
Although any student can get tested, health officials are most concerned with the 45 students under the age of six because lead in their systems can cause cognitive problems.
“Lead contamination is most concerning for kids under the age of six because they’re still in developmental stages,” she said. “These are students who have the most impact on IQ, learning, academic achievement.”
When it comes to lead contamination, she says you have to be very wary.
“We know there’s no safe level of lead in your blood especially for kids under six,” Green said.
After it found lead in the kitchen taps, the health department began multi-level notifications.
It sent letters to parents of the 45 students under age six. It also made Robo calls notifications today.
Officials are hoping they won’t find any lead in the bloodstream of those youngsters.
As the health department digs deeper, it is hoping to pinpoint exactly where the lead came from. Since it was confined to just two faucets, it could be a problem with specific piping, but the county isn’t sure yet.