OLINVILLE — Lead levels in the water at a Bronx school that were previously 16 times higher than those in Flint, Michigan are now safe, according to Councilman Andy King.
Multiple water fixtures in P.S. 41 at 3352 Olinville Ave. had tested for lead at above 100 parts per billion, significantly higher than the EPA's "action level" threshold of 15 ppb, according to a letter the Department of Education had sent out to families and staff members at the school this winter.
However, the problematic fixtures have since been replaced, and the impacted water fountains will be turned on again on March 31 and April 1, according to King, who represents the neighborhood.
He did not know the specific lead levels but said they were all now at or below the EPA threshold of 15 ppb. While no level of lead in water is considered safe, the EPA does not require any action to be taken for levels below 15 ppb.
The Department of Education confirmed the levels were all below 15 ppb, but did not release the specific levels at each site, as they had done previously when they were required by the state.
The prior results included a cold water faucet in a fifth floor bathroom for adults that tested 442 ppb, the most toxic level in the school, as well as four other faucets that measured 100 ppb.
"We are grateful and thankful that those numbers are down," King said. "We are grateful and thankful that they changed all the fixtures."
King held a press conference about elevated lead levels at the school on Feb. 6 and announced on Friday that he had secured $400,000 in funding to renovate the school's bathrooms by the 2017-18 school year.