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Information on Lead in Drinking Water

It is important to recognize all the ways a child can be exposed to lead. Children are exposed to lead in paint, dust, soil, air, and food, as well as drinking water. If the level of lead in a child's blood is at or above the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) action level of 5 micrograms per deciliter, it may be due to lead exposures from a combination of sources. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that drinking water can make up 20 percent or more of a person’s total exposure to lead. Infants who consume mostly mixed formula can receive 40 percent to 60 percent of their exposure to lead from drinking water.

It was recently found by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) that a drinking fountain at Ucon Elementary tested high for lead in 2013 and a second fountain tested high in February 2016. All other water sources at the school have been sampled and show no or very small traces of lead and are not presumed to present a health risk. However, as a precaution and in response to the potential lead exposure from drinking water, Eastern Idaho Public Health is assisting the IDEQ by performing voluntary screening tests on students and staff at the school to measure the level of lead in their blood.

If you have questions about blood lead screening, you may call Eastern Idaho Public Health at (208) 533-3152, option 3 or 4.

For water quality-related questions, contact the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality Idaho Falls Regional Office at 528-2650.

Fact Sheet: Lead Levels in Children (CDC)

Additional Lead Resources