Government must protect children from contaminated water in schools

Government must protect children from contaminated water in schools

Dangerous levels of lead from tap water being reported at schools across Nova Scotia need to be acted upon immediately, says Progressive Conservative Education Critic Tim Halman.

“Ensuring safe drinking water in schools has to be a priority,” said Halman. “The government has a responsibility to protect our children from unknowingly drinking contaminated water.”

A recent investigation by The Star has found that nearly two-thirds of Nova Scotian schools that have tested their water for the first time this year have found dangerous levels of lead.

Consuming high levels of lead can lead to high blood pressure, renal dysfunctions and decreased cognitive performance, among other conditions. Lead is especially dangerous for children because it can affect their development.

“Firstly, we need to know which taps are unsafe so that we can prevent children, educators and staff from drinking from them,” said Halman. “We also need to ensure that alternative water sources are available in affected schools and that a plan is put in place to provide clean water taps in all schools across the province.”

While Education Minister Zach Churchill has promised to test every school’s taps for lead by the end of the school year, Halman remains concerned that children will continue to drink contaminated water unknowingly until a report is eventually released by the government.