|Credit: Metro NY|
The editorial highlights two schools where the levels found were especially alarming: PS 723, a District 75 school for special needs students in the Bronx where the lead levels were 6,000 times the "action" level of 15 parts per billion, and William E. Grady Vocational High School in Brooklyn, which had more than 100 samples that violated this level, with three that tested above 30,000 parts per billion.
As the AM New York editorial pronounced,“Of course, most NYC school buildings are old, and finding some lead in the pipes is not a surprise. But the extent of the findings, both in the levels and the number of schools affected, is stunning. The problem has been exacerbated by the DOE’s insufficient public response....
While the DOE followed the guidelines in state legislation passed last year by sending letters home to parents and posting the letters to school websites, city officials should do more. A more comprehensive and user-friendly response by school and city officials is warranted. DOE should make sure its online school search functions include faucet-by-faucet lead levels, and explanations of the risks they pose. (Right now, none of that information is easily searchable.) It should publish lists of schools with the worst levels of lead, and issue clear explanations of the results and what parents need to know. The state health department should do more, too, perhaps by analyzing the city’s by-faucet data and providing resources and guidance.”