New tests show higher lead levels in some Quincy schools - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

New tests show higher lead levels in some Quincy schools

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Water flowing from fountain. Water flowing from fountain.
Example of test results going to be sent to the lab. Example of test results going to be sent to the lab.
Water being filled into the test cup. Water being filled into the test cup.
Example of filled cup ready to be sent to the lab. Example of filled cup ready to be sent to the lab.
One of the faucets that tested positive. One of the faucets that tested positive.
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

A new Illinois law requiring testing for lead in schools is already showing results.

High lead levels have shown up in several Quincy schools and experts say they hope the test results raise more awareness about lead in the area.

A recent water study on Quincy Public Schools showed some water sources had elevated levels while a majority were below. 

"Once a child has lead in their bodies and it's at a certain amount, we start to worry about different things like, neurological problems, cardiac issues or kidney problems," Jon Campos, Communicable Disease/STD/Lead Coordinator at Adams County Health Department.  

High levels of lead were found in Adams, Baldwin, and Ellington Schools as well as St. Peter School. 

A new Illinois law requires that school buildings built before 1987 be tested. Experts at Klingner and Associates reviewed the testing in Quincy schools and said the lead was in older pipes. 

"They may have some lead concerns whether the pipe is made of lead or their is solder that may have lead content," Enviornemental Engineer Lance Schuette said. "In general, the sources, don't seem to be the problem, it's the buildings." 

The law requires parents and guardians of students be notified of lead results greater than or equal to five parts per billion.

Jon Campos with the health department said the EPA says there is a problem if there is 15 ppb found in the child's system. 

"I would advise any parent, if there is any concern that your child has lead poisoning, there are several places you can go to have it tested, of course here at the health department, we do a screening test," Campos said. 

Enviornemental Engineer Lance Schuette said homeowners could get their water tested but suggests running it through the pipes for 10 to 30 seconds to release all the built up water and lead that could be in there. 

"If you let that water out first, then you will have more of the supply line coming in," Schuette said.  

Campos said this law is a work in progress but engineers like Schuette said this has created more awareness in the community and hopes it prevents any further damage to the area.

"Part of this regulation is saying we are really addressing these individuals developing it at this stage and reducing the amount of lead they are exposed to," Schuette said.

Klingner and Associates said the ways to fix it are to flush out the pipes or fix the pipe and water main 

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