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Lead Levels Highest Yet At 15th CPS School To Test Positive

By Ariel Cheung | June 13, 2016 2:48pm

CHICAGO — A 15th school has tested positive for lead in its water at the highest levels seen yet at Chicago Public Schools.

Blair Early Childhood Center in Clearing serves children 3 to 6 years old and had one classroom sink with lead levels as high as 1,100 parts per billion. The 1.1 milligrams of lead per liter of water tests well above the federal standard of 15 parts per billion.

Eighteen samples of water from Blair, 6751 W. 63rd Place, tested above the 15 ppb line. The water was tested May 28. Dozens of other samples had some amount of lead, but below the Environmental Protection Agency's allowed limit.

Blair joins 14 other schools at CPS with levels of lead in the water above 15 ppb. The district is testing 324 schools built before 1986 with pre-kindergarten classrooms, which are considered more vulnerable and a priority for the district-wide testing.

So far, one in five have tested positive, with hundreds of samples left to test. However, many schools testing positive have had a single source of water testing above 15 ppb.



The latest results come as Chicago aldermen called for public hearings on the matter Monday. Ald. Christopher Taliaferro (29th) said he demanded answers on what CPS is doing to clear its water of lead.

"In 2016, it is outrageous that we must face the risk of putting our children in harm's way by sending them to school," Taliaferro said. "We know how to get rid of lead ... so that it is present in our schools must be unacceptable to us."

RELATED: Outraged Aldermen Want Hearings About The Lead In CPS Drinking Water

CPS also shared more details regarding several other recently tested schools. Reilly Elementary in Avondale was retested on Wednesday, addressing concerns that it might have gotten a false positive due to the water not being used in several days at the school.

Wednesday's test, though, showed nine samples exceeding the government limits for safe water. One sample tested at 354 ppb.

At Beasley Elementary in Washington Park, lead samples came close to those found at Blair. Two samples from a classroom sink tested at 950 and 96 ppb, while two more tested above 400 ppb.

CPS pledged to test the vulnerable schools before June 21, with the remaining 60 percent of schools getting tested next school year. Below is a list of schools that will be tested this year:

Already tested, no lead found (21): Burr; Camras; Canty; Coonley; De Diego; Ericson; Evers; Hefferan; Mahalia Jackson; Jamieson; Jungman; Kellman; Mays; Neil; Pritzker; Saucedo; South Shore Elementary; Stagg; Washington High; Webster; Westcott

Already tested, no lead levels above 15 ppb (13): Burroughs; Dett; Fulton; Goethe; Kozminski; Lenart; Nicholson; Parker; Ray; Sumner; Vick; Von Linne; Whittier

The following schools have been tested, but results have not been made public yet. CPS said test results take up to 10 days to process:

Testing completed before June 1: Armour; George Armstrong; Barry; Bateman; Beard; Belmont-Cragin; Bridge; Burley; Cardenas; Carson; Chappell; Chase; Chopin; Columbia Explorers; Crown; Nathan Davis; Dawes; Dewey; Edwards; Fiske; Gallistel; Gunsaulus; Hanson Park; Haugan; Hayt; Hedges; Herzl; Hibbard; Kilmer; Langford; Lloyd; Lowell; Marquette; Mayer; McCormick; McKay; McPherson; Melody; Monroe; Nightingale; Peck; Pilsen; Pulaski; Reinberg; Ravenswood; Revere; Rogers; Schubert; Shields; Stevenson; Stock; Thomas; Tonti; Wentworth; Yates

Tested June 1: George Washington Carver; Disney; Durkin Park; Falconer; Gray; Henry; Logandale; Marnierre; Nettelhorst; Oriole Park; Portage Park; Spencer

Tested June 2: Addams; Burbank; Chicago Academy Elementary School; Clinton; Courtenay; Farnsworth; Hammond; Jahn; Nobel; Swift; Volta; Zapata

Tested June 3: Beethoven; Chavez; Cleveland; Dvorak; Earle; Hay; Healy; Murphy; Palmer; Stowe; Suder; Washington Elementary.

Tested June 4: Alcott Elementary; Belding; Boone; Burke; Clay; Cooper; Dulles; Drummond; Funston; Gary; Goudy; Hamline; Hearst; Hurley; Inter-American; Marsh; McCutcheon; Morrill; Mozart; Nixon; North River; Sherwood; Smyth; Talman; Wadsworth; Whitney.

Tested June 7: Audubon; Barton; Bouchet; Darwin; Deneen; Dirksen; Disney II Elementary; Foster Park; Jensen; Johnson; Lawndale; Seward.

Tested June 8: Donoghue; Gillespie; Leland; Oglesby; Otis; Penn; Piccolo; Reavis; Solomon; Spry Elementary; Laura Ward; Wells Elementary.

Tested June 9: Cameron; Cather; Everett; Greeley; Charles Hughes; Lovett; Mason; Moos; Okeeffe; Randolph; Taylor; Young Elementary.

Tested June 10: Bass; Bond; Ronald Brown; Coles; Graham Elementary; Kershaw; McClellean; Peterson; Pickard; Ryder; Skinner; Talcott.

Tested June 11: Beaubien; Bright; Caldwell; Carroll; Chalmers; Corkery; Dore; Drake; Gale; Green; Grimes; Hale; Harte; Hitch; Lee; Lewis; Mireles; Onahan; O'Toole; Pasteur; Prescott; Scammon; Smyser; Till; Twain; James Ward.

The remaining 85 vulnerable schools will be tested before classes end June 21. All other schools will be tested next year, CPS said.

Testing June 14: Ashburn; Dever; Faraday; Gregory; Holden; Howe; Mann; Nash; Norwood Park; Prussing; South Loop; Wacker.

Testing June 15: Carter; Fairfield; Grissom; Haley; Holmes; Metcalfe; Mollison; Owens; Parkside; Robinson; Sayre; Tilton.

Testing June 16: Agassiz; Ariel; Barnard; Bennett; Brighton Park; Brownell; Burnham; Cook; Pershing; Ruggles; Schmid; James Thorp.

Testing June 17: Avalon Park; Brennemann; Columbus; Doolittle; Farragut High; Fort Dearborn; Garvey; Ninos Heroes; Pirie; Shoop; Smith; Warren.

Testing June 18: William Brown; Bradwell; Burnside; Carnegie; Clark Elementary; Curtis; Dixon; Dunne; Fuller; Gresham; Hamilton; Hendricks; Joplin; King Elementary; Kanoon; Mitchell; Mount Vernon; Park Manor; Pullman; Rowe; Rudolph; Salazar; Sherman; Whistler; Woodlawn; Woodson.

Testing June 21: Aldridge; Bell; Dodge; DuBois; Edison Park; Henderson; Higgins; Madison; McDowell; Newberry; White.

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