The NYT also repeats the standard DOE quote that "there had never been a known case of lead poisoning traced to drinking water in schools" without explaining that school-age children are rarely tested for lead. Nor as far as I know has the Paper of Record ever reported on the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics that remediation be required in any school where lead levels are above 1 ppb, rather than the 15 ppb limit currently in state law.
See the DOE spreadsheet of results from testing the outlets for leaD in each school posted here. To the right is the summary of the results.
The DOE also omits the information that I wrote about here, that the American Pediatric Association recommends remediation for any fixture or outlet where the water tests more than 1 ppb, vs. the 15 ppb that NY state has adopted -- because any detectable level of lead has been shown to have a negative impact on children's behavior and intellectual abilities. In addition to considering the stricter standard, the city should also test water outlets in public libraries and recreation centers for lead, as Washington DC has now done.
Still, the summary available on the DOE spreadsheet is far more informative that the letter that principals are supposed to send home to parent and the statement below. Instead of mentioning the 83% figure, the letter says this: "Using State standards, 92% of our fixtures system-wide tested below guidance. This demonstrates that we do not have any systemic issues with water in our school buildings and our remediation protocol is effective." Again, the messages sent out by DOE is confusing. Is this after remediation or before?
And see this from below: "Our comprehensive remediation protocol also includes replacing fixtures with elevated results as well as piping to the walls, and placing schools with elevated results on a weekly morning flushing protocol." Why are they still flushing the pipes if remediation has worked? Flushing as opposed to replacement is not an approved strategy according to the state law or or the EPA.