KRON 4 - Nov. 1, 2017 Coverage of CalPIRG Get the Lead Out of Oakland School Water

VIDEO: Activists, parents concerned about high levels of lead in Oakland school water

This is an event where SmartOakland was in attendance to show support and alignment for the Get the Lead Out Coalition.  We are joining CalPIRG and the recent effort to stop lead from entering the Oakland schools.

By Vince Cestone, KRON and Terisa Estacio Published: November 1, 2017, 5:42 pm Updated: November 1, 2017, 5:42 pm

OAKLAND (KRON) — New tests have revealed that high levels of lead have been detected in several Bay Area schools’ water.

This time, seven schools have tested higher than federal regulations allow.

In a news conference on Wednesday, a local organization is calling for someone to deal with this serious situation.

Crocker Highlands was one of 50 schools recently tested in the Oakland Unified School District.

“And that’s certainly a start, but this isn’t enough,” CALPIRG Public Health Advocate Jason Pfeifle said.

Calling on the Oakland Unified School District to step in and immediately take action, the group of activists, parents, doctors and a school board member addressed the recent test results revealing seven schools in the district showed higher levels than allowed by federal standards.

“Because lead mimics iron, and hides out in the blood, it leads to low blood count–anemia, which in itself leads to poor growth, fatigue, and learning difficulties,” Dr. Noemi Spinazzi said.

There are 86 schools in Oakland Unified. This recent test involved 50 schools.

This past August, high lead levels were discovered at McClymonds High School in the shower and facets for drinking.

A district spokesperson tells KRON4 all of the contamination was eliminated, and now, a recent test shows McClymonds is safe, according to federal standards.

“And I am speaking here today as a mom of 4-year-old twins, who live in Fruitvale, California,” Vien Truong said. “Our lives are projected to be 12 years less. We have higher lead poisoning in our bloodstreams than Flint, Michigan.”

The East Bay mom was at the news conference supporting a call for a more strict policy for the district.

Fruitvale Elementary had a higher level in one source, and Thornhill had a higher level than allowed by federal standards.

Crocker Highlands was not on the list.

To check the water quality of all Oakland schools, click here:


Stephanie Hayden