Lead is toxic and harmful if inhaled or swallowed; it is particularly dangerous for children. No level of lead in children’s blood is considered safe.
To combat lead in drinking water in child care facilities, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU), Reducing Lead Levels in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities, to bring attention to and advance solutions for this important issue. This MOU highlights the 3Ts: training, testing, and taking action. The 3Ts program provides resources to educate and train child care facility staff in reducing lead in drinking water if detected, test lead in drinking water in child care facilities, and take action to reduce lead in drinking water. Additional resources provide guidance on communicating to parents, child care facility staff members, and community stakeholders about the risks of, testing results for, and recommended actions to take as a result of lead exposure.
Today we are pleased to announce the publication of the two 3Ts factsheets: (1) Ensuring Drinking Water Quality in Schools During and After Extended Closures and (2) Ensuring Drinking Water Quality in Child Care Facilities During and After Extended Closures. These factsheets provide guidance on maintaining drinking water quality during extended closures and recommend startup procedures when reopening to ensure that drinking water is safe for consumption.
The factsheets are part of the 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water Toolkit for schools and child care facilities. The school factsheet includes information for schools that are served by or are public water systems. The child care factsheet is intended for facilities specializing in early care and education, including center-based programs and family child care homes, prekindergarten programs, and Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Additional considerations are included for child care facilities that are noncommunity water systems and child care facilities served by a private well.