HOUSTON –Alief ISD became the second Houston-area school district to announce widespread lead testing inside its schools Friday afternoon.
The announcement came as KHOU 11 Investigates was questioning the district’s previous policy of only testing faucets and water fountains as they were being replaced and not the water students and staff were currently using.
Testing records obtained by KHOU 11 Investigates showed three water samples collected from inside Hastings High School earlier this year exceeded the federal acceptable limit for lead.
Two of those samples were twice the federal limit. Another was more than three times the acceptable amount.
The EPA warns that exposure to high lead levels can lead to lower IQ levels, learning disabilities, behavior problems and poor classroom performance.
Alief ISD has refused repeated requests for an on-camera interview about its lead testing policy.
So Friday, KHOU 11 Investigates went to Hastings High School to discuss the issue with students and parents.
They were clear: all wanted expanded testing in light of the tests showing high levels.
Later that afternoon, the district announced it would test the water at all 45 campuses, calling it “an assertive approach to protecting its students and staff.”
Currently, there is no state or federal requirement that schools hooked to municipal water conduct any testing for lead.
In July, Houston ISD announced it would conduct lead testing in all schools and buildings this school year.