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Lead Hazards in the Water in Portland Public Schools

Post Shared on Facebook, May 2016

Exhibit #1. Portland Public Schools. #PPS #LeadInWater

Pictures (below) my husband and I took January 21, 2010 at Jackson Middle School, showing the under sink water filter (under the school water fountain) was either:

A.) last changed 8/5/2008 or that
B.) it was due to next be changed by 8/5/2008…

…in either case, the filters were L-O-N-G past expired [under the best of circumstances, to be effective at removing neurotoxic lead, these type of filters really need to be changed every few months – not left in place for several YEARS], and were no longer effectively removing ANY lead from the water in these middle school fountains [even if they had been a reasonable choice as a filter for this application to begin with, which I believe, given the super high- volume use profile of a middle school water fountain they were definitely NOT!]

These (and other similar) photos were e-mailed to the school district, the Multnomah County lead program and the State of Oregon lead program at the time (January/ February 2010!).

They were also shared with the Oregon State Legislature and Senate as supporting documentation for legislation I wrote (2010/2011) – legislation that would have ensured lead hazards in schools were cleaned up and schools would not be allowed to operate with existing environmental toxicity hazards.

In spite of strong bi-partisan support by Representatives Tomei and Conger, this law was essentially “shot down” by the primary opponent – the Oregon School Boards Association (they claimed it would be “too expensive” to remove the widespread and egregious lead hazards from our children’s schools)!

When the law was finally “passed” [in name only—it had been gutted behind closed doors] the only outcome was that it required that the State of Oregon create “a website about lead” – and I was never even given the URL of that website [assuming any was even launched].

Tamara & Leonard Rubin
Portland Parents of Four Children
Sellwood Neighborhood
4 3 2 1

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