North Carolina is getting a failing grade when it comes to protecting children against lead in drinking water at schools.
A study from Environment North Carolina found that several states have no requirements for schools and preschools to address the threat of lead in drinking water.
Of the few states with applicable laws, most follow flaws in the federal rules, the study found, relying on testing instead of prevention and using standards that allow health-threatening levels of lead to persist in children's water at school.
Recent testing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Guilford County schools discovered high lead levels with some drinking fountains and fixtures.
North Carolina legislators on Thursday discussed a bill ordering that tests be performed by mid-2021 in buildings constructed before 1961. Newer buildings would be tested later. The bill provides $8 million to help schools and centers test faucets and water fountains and provide alternate water supplies or filters when elevated lead levels are detected.