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Boston Students May Have Been Exposed To Lead In Water

A sign warns people not to drink water contaminated with lead from a fountain in Flint, Mich. But Flint isn't the only place concerned about its water. Four schools in Boston believe a miscommunication may have led to students being exposed to lead-tainted water. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
A sign warns people not to drink water contaminated with lead from a fountain in Flint, Mich. But Flint isn't the only place concerned about its water. Four schools in Boston believe a miscommunication may have led to students being exposed to lead-tainted water. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
This article is more than 4 years old.

Officials say students at four Boston public schools may have been exposed to lead-tainted water from drinking fountains that were mistakenly turned on too soon.

Boston Public Schools has put two facilities workers on administrative leave as it investigates the problem. The school system sent automated calls on Wednesday and plans to send letters to parents of students.

The four schools where students were at risk of exposure are Mather Elementary School in Dorchester, Joseph Lee Elementary School in Dorchester, Curley K-8 in Jamaica Plain and the Another Course to College School in Brighton.

The schools are among six where testing found elevated lead levels in at least one fountain. The city is spending $300,000 to repair and upgrade plumbing at those schools.

Once turned on, the fountains remained on anywhere from a few hours to several weeks.

Turning the fountains on early was blamed on a lack of communication between employees of the school district's facilities department and a contractor.

BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang said all active water fountains were tested in April.

"We are confident that all active water fountains meet state standards and are fine for students and faculty use," he said in a statement Thursday.

The school department says health services staffers are available to answer questions from parents. The district has 125 schools.

With reporting from WBUR's Newscast Unit and The Associated Press

This article was originally published on May 05, 2016.

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