10 Shelby County Schools tested positive for traces of lead


MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Nearly a dozen Shelby County schools tested positive for traces of lead. 

According to a statement, routine testing was performed and 10 out of 165 locations had results 1% above the EPA threshold in one or more specific fountains. 

RELATED: What are the symptoms of lead poisoning?Content Continues Below

The results come less than a year after a Tennessee law went into effect requiring schools test drinking water for lead.  This only applies to schools built before 1998. 

“If results are greater than 15 parts per billion (ppb) but less than 20 ppb, the school shall conduct testing on an annual basis until retesting confirms the level is less than 15 ppb,” the American Academy of Pediatrics said. 

Shelby Co. Schools released a statement saying in part: 

Even though most of the affected fountains are not frequently used, as part of the District’s proactive and precautionary process, these fountains were all shut off and immediately removed from use, and they do not have any effect on any other fountains or water sources in the building. Parents at affected schools have been notified. SCS is following all of the proper procedures to safely remove these fountains from use and keep our children safe. 

The schools listed are:  

  • Booker T. Washington High School 
  • Central High School
  • Charjean Elementary School
  • Chickasaw Middle School
  • Double Tree Elementary School
  • Gardenview Elementary School
  • Havenview Middle School
  • Sheffield High School
  • Whitehaven Elementary School
  • Whitehaven High School

Back in 2017, FOX13 reported MLGW was replacing lead pipes in daycares across the city. 

FOX13 found 790 homes have been tested since we started asking questions last year.  12 tested above the EPA safe limit. 

The full investigation is available here.

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