PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Public Schools is encouraging students and staff to get tested for lead after all 30 school buildings tested so far have shown high levels of lead.
Four of the schools had lead levels that are considered toxic waste by the Environmental Protection Agency.
PPS said it will provide bottled water to all students during the 2016-17 school year. Parents can also get their kids tested through at-home tests or mobile clinics, according to PPS spokeswoman Christine Miles.
The district sent the following letter to families on Thursday:
Dear PPS Families:
Due to concerns about elevated lead levels, Portland Public Schools (PPS) encourages students and staff to be tested for lead. In addition to your medical provider, students and staff have the following options:
MULTNOMAH COUNTY FREE LEAD SCREENING CLINICS
Multnomah County regularly hosts free lead screening clinics, which are available for students. The next free clinic is on Friday, July 15 from 11:45am-12:30pm at Kenton Library, 8226 N Denver Ave. in Portland. Information about additional clinics is posted here.
ONSITE LEAD LEVEL SCREENINGS
Saturdays and Sundays from 8 am to 4:30 pm beginning July 16 and July 17 during the summer at Blanchard Education Service Center, 501 N. Dixon St. Go to pps.kadalyst.com to reserve your slot or call 503-916-3122.
Kadalyst Health Partners will perform the finger prick test and results will be available while you wait. A physician will privately advise anyone with an elevated lead level. Families will be asked to provide the name of the student(s) and grade, as well as the school name.HOME TEST KITS FROM ZRT LABORATORY
Families can also order a home test kit from ZRT Laboratory at 1-866-600-1636 or 503-466-2445, weekdays 6 am to 5 pm, or firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to providing the student’s name, address, grade level and school name, parents will need to provide their child’s student ID. If you do not know your child’s student ID, simply enter “11111”.
Families mail the finger prick test back to ZRT Laboratory for analysis. View explanatory videos at http://www.zrtlab.com/Patients/How-to-Collect-Your-Sample. Results are typically mailed within five days.State law requires that elevated lead levels be reported to the Oregon Health Authority. This will be done directly by the vendors. Oregon Health Authority contacts the family with the elevated levels directly. All information is kept confidential.
Please visit the PPS Healthy Schools website at www.pps.net/healthyschools for updates on water testing results.
Thank you for your attention.