Published : Thursday, August 30, 2018 | 3:59 PM
Assemblymember Chris Holden’s legislation that expands lead testing in drinking water within child care centers, Assembly Bill 2370, cleared the legislature today and now awaits Governor Brown’s signature.
“Lead poisoning is a real threat to future generations of Californians,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “Increasing lead testing for California’s high-risk children is one of the single biggest steps we can take to prevent lead poisoning.”
A 2009 California Environmental Protection Agency report states that very young children absorb about 40 to 50 percent of the ingested lead when drinking contaminated water, while adults absorb between 5-15 percent. Even small amounts of lead in the bodies of very young children can cause irreversible harm to their brains and central nervous systems.
AB 2370 requires the Department of Social Services, in consultation with the State Water Resources Control Board, to adopt requirements to ensure that drinking water at child care centers does not contain elevated lead levels.
“Given the well-documented damage that lead inflicts on young children, water served at child care centers should be tested for lead,” said Susan Little, California Government Affairs Senior Advocate for Environmental Working Group. “Very young children easily absorb the lead they ingest, so it makes sense that we do all we can to ensure the water and baby formula kids drink is as safe as possible. We applaud Assemblymember Holden’s effort to protect these kids.”
AB 2370 also requires child care providers to receive instruction on the risks of and how to prevent lead exposure, and requires them to give parents written information about childhood blood lead testing requirements.