Six SF preschools check unsafe for lead

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Six San Francisco preschools have water faucets that tested higher than the city’s acceptable level of lead, according to emails sent by the school district to teachers and staff.

Those preschools are located at E.R. Taylor Elementary School in the Portola, Bryant Elementary School in the Mission, George Washington Carver Elementary in the Bayview, Bret Harte Elementary School in Sunnydale, Grattan Elementary near Parnassus, and Rooftop Elementary School near Twin Peaks, according to Laura Dudnick, the spokesperson for the San Francisco Unified School District.

But Tiffany Delloue, who works at E.R. Taylor, learned that the main elementary school’s drinking water also tested positive for lead last week during a staff meeting. At that meeting, administrators told the school’s staff the results of tests conducted at the school in March. Remedies — faucets covered with a plastic bag to prevent students from using them — happened in the last week, teachers said.

According to an email obtained by Mission Local, 16 out of the 57 water faucets tested at E.R. Taylor had lead levels higher than the acceptable 5 parts per billion, the level the San Francisco school district considers acceptable. 

Two of those faucets tested even higher — above 15 parts per billion, the Environmental Protection Agency’s safety level. 

“That was the straw breaking the back,” Delloue said about learning about the lead. “Of everybody.” 

At the main E.R. Taylor elementary school, lead-laced faucets were reported in eight classrooms, one hallway drinking fountain, and the kitchen, according to an email from the district head of facilities Dawn Kamalanathan sent to school staff. At the on-site preschool, two out of the four faucets tested showed abnormal lead levels, one in a classroom and another in the kitchen. 

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