Testing for Lead in Child Care Drinking Water
Why It’s Important
Testing for lead in child care program's drinking water is critical since children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of lead. Lead is particularly dangerous for children under age 6 years because it can affect brain development and cause:
- lower IQ
- learning disabilities
- behavior problems
- speech and language delays
- hearing damage
FREE Lead Testing Available
To help child care programs determine if there is lead in their drinking water, the Maine CDC Drinking Water Program (DWP) has a program to cover the cost of lead analysis for any Maine child care program.
*This excludes child care facilities currently regulated as a public water system by the DWP, as those facilities regularly sample their water for lead. Also, samples collected through this program cannot be used towards meeting the requirements of DHHS child care licensing. Sampling for licensing requirements will need to be paid for by the child care program.
How to Get your Free Lead Test Kit
To take advantage of these FREE lead test kits and sample analysis, contact the State's Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory at (207) 287-2727 and request PbCC sample kits (this stands for lead child care). The lab will send you up to 10 sample kits, sampling instructions, and prepaid postage for you to return the full sample bottles for analysis.
If Lead Hazards are Found
If elevated lead levels are found at any faucet, the Maine DHHS Childhood Lead Poisoning and Prevention Unit will contact your program and will conduct additional testing. If lead hazards are found, abatement will be required according to Maine's Lead Poisoning Control Act. Abatement could be as simple as replacing an existing faucet with a lead-free faucet.
For more information about sampling, the health effects of lead, and other education material, refer to the documents below. For questions about the program contact the DWP at 207-287-2070. You can also visit Maine's Childhood Lead Poising Prevention Program website or call 207-287-4311.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
- Program Overview (PDF)
- Understanding Sample Results (PDF)
- How to Collect Investigatory Lead Water Samples
- Chain-Of-Custody Form