Governor Brown signed Assemblymember Chris Holden’s legislation, Assembly Bill 2370, that expands lead testing in drinking water within California’s child care centers.
“Lead poisoning is a serious threat to children’s health,” 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. 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.
Under AB 2370, licensed child day care centers will be eligible to apply for loan funding through the Child Care Facilities Revolving Fund in order to remediate lead contamination at the child care center and receive grants from the State Water Board for testing and remediating lead in their water systems.