Dear Editor,

Lead is a neurotoxin that can negatively impact how our children behave, learn and develop. Scientists agree there is no safe lead level, but Florida law does not require schools to test or filter drinking water.

Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act to require lead-free plumbing in 1986. A bill to require all Florida school districts to filter drinking water at any school built before 1986 died during the 2019 Florida Legislative Session.

There are more than 1700 Florida schools in operation built before 1987, according to the Department of Education. Many Florida school districts are voluntarily taking action to get the lead out of their schools.

Gulf County’s elementary schools were built in 1970. Therefore, lead could be leaching into our students’ drinking water through corrosion of our schools’ aging plumbing.

We don’t know if lead flows from faucets and fountains in Gulf County schools, but we have a moral obligation to find out and protect our students from the dangers of lead.

Andrea De La Vega

Chair

Gulf County Democratic Party