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Lead found in drinking water at elementary school in NDG, students asked to bring bottled water
MONTREAL – Lead has been found in the water at Marc-Favreau Elementary School in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
“We were advised late (Thursday) morning that the water from the school fountains cannot be consumed,” Principal Éric Dion wrote in a letter sent to parents Thursday.
“We ask that your child bring two reusable bottles of water (Friday).”
Dion adds that the school will have bottled water on the premises to give out to those in need.
The discovery was made following water tests done at some of the Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM)’s schools, which found lead levels greater than five micrograms per liter.
“The analyses revealed that eight water points in the school's main building are not in compliance with the requirements for the measurement of lead in water,” said Robert Gendron, director general of the CSDM, in a letter home to parents on Thursday.
The board says the school’s 13 water points were analyzed, and after 30 seconds, five complied while eight did not.
The CSDM says it chose to shut off all the school’s water fountains.
“Rigorous analyses will be conducted and corrections will be made,” Gendron stated, adding that the school board is working with Montreal Public Health on the issue.
“Rest assured that all measures are being taken and we are making sure to intervene safely.”
The tests come after a study found that some Canadian cities have high levels of lead in their drinking water.
The year-long investigation was conducted by more than 120 journalists from nine universities and 10 media groups in collaboration with the Institute for Investigative Journalism at Concordia University.
According to Montreal Public Health, traces of lead can be found in air, soil, dust, food, drinking water and various consumer products.
Depending on the level of exposure, lead can affect the nervous, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and reproductive systems, as well as the kidneys.
“Even the smallest exposure can affect health,” Montreal Public Health states, noting that infants, young children and pregnant women are the most at risk.
The CSDM invites anyone with questions to contact 811 or visit the Public Health website.