Get the Lead Out

“I know many parents who had a new water bottle on their ‘back to school’ shopping list,” said Mariaelena Huizar, California State PTA Vice President of Health and Community Concerns. “We’ve got to make sure what’s going in those bottles is safe. For that reason, I’m recommending this Get the Lead Out toolkit to parents. It’s short and gives you concrete tools to work with your school and ensure safe drinking water for our children.”

Everyone agrees that our kids need and deserve safe drinking water at school. Unfortunately, most schools were built with fountains, faucets and other parts that contain lead. So far, over 2,000 water fountains and sinks in California schools have been found to leach lead into the drinking water. And since only a fraction of water fountains have been tested in the state, we are likely only scratching the surface of the problem.

The good news is that parents and school officials working together can solve this problem. The legislature has demonstrated a commitment to help schools address this, with $150 million allocated to lead remediation as part of a new statewide school bond likely heading to voters in 2020. But today’s students are counting on schools to take initiative now to get out the lead.

The California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) has created a free Back to School Toolkit that includes a fact sheet, sample materials for taking action, and links to additional resources. You can download the toolkit here: