New Rules Require Child Care Facilities to Test for Lead by Sept. 30, 2018

Following the Early Learning Division’s February requirement of protecting children from exposure to lead, starting April 1, 2018, all state-regulated child care providers may begin testing for lead in their drinking water and sending results to the Office of Child Care.   If test results are higher than “15 parts per billion (ppb), the provider must make changes to prevent lead exposure.”

                The Office of Child Care plans to work closely with providers this summer to help them implement the new requirements.  This includes a resource list, tip sheet, support from your licensing specialist  and a call-in number at the Central Office. The Office of Child Care is also working with local water bureaus and testing labs to help make the process as simple as possible for providers. Providers have until September 30, 2018 to complete testing, submit results to the OCC, and put in place any necessary changes. 

                The new requirements include testing every six years.  Child care providers must take a water sample from faucets used for dinking or food prep, then submit the sample for testing to an accredited lab, and send the results of the test to the Office of Child Care. 

                f the test results show a lead level that is at or higher than 15 parts per billion  (ppb), the provider must  immediately present children from using or consuming the water by removing access to the faucet and supply bottled water for drinking, cooking, and preparing infant formula. Next, they must submit a plan of action within 60 days of receiving the results to the OCC to address the lead levels in the faucets or fixtures testing at or higher than 15 parts per billion. 

The plan must be consistent with the “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 3T’s for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools.”  Providers must retest the water after making corrective changes and continue to use bottled water only in the meantime.  Providers must also reduce children’s exposure to lead regardless of results by running faucets 30 seconds to two minutes before using the water for cooking, drinking or

What are the 3Ts? 

The 3Ts is an outreach program launched by the Environmental Protection Agency in response to public concern over health risks posed by elevated levels of lead in drinking water in school and child care facilities across the count

 Simply put, the 3Ts are Training, Testing and Telling. 

What should I do today?  Although providers have until Sept. 30 to complete the testing and send results to the Office of Child Care; it is recommended that providers begin testing any time and request sample kits no later than August 1st to allow approximately 4 weeks for the water sample results to be processed.

Where can I get more information? The Office of Child Care has posted information about protecting children from lead exposure  on its website: https://oregonearlylearning.com/lead‐poisoning‐prevention/. 

-Early Learning Division

Debby ReedComment