January 21, 2020

Contact: Senator Robert Cowles: (608) 266-0484

Senate Votes to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposure 

MADISON– Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement after 2019 Senate Bill 424 was passed by the State Senate on a voice vote. This legislation, which is one of two bills in the Supporting Children’s Health by Ousting Outdated Lead (SCHOOL) Acts which Senator Cowles authored with Representatives Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) and Chris Taylor (D-Madison), Senators LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee) and Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon), and others, ensures that childcare centers and providers, group homes, and educational and recreational camps test their drinking water supply for lead and provide drinking water without lead levels exceeding federal action limits:

“Overexposure to lead can be bad for anyone’s health, but children are particularly susceptible to negative health consequences from the consumption of lead. These health outcomes from lead have lasting impacts not only on the children, but on the entire community as the children’s development can be stunted, impacting both their physical and mental growth. Numerous studies have found that increased behavioral issues such as juvenile delinquency, truancy or dropping out, violence, and teen pregnancy were correlated to overexposure of lead as a child.

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“Senate Bill 424 looks to give our youth a brighter future by reducing lead exposure and giving parents and guardians the peace-of-mind that their kids will drink clean, safe water when they leave the house in the morning. This legislation ensures that places frequented by children outside of the home aren’t delivering lead-laden water to children who are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning while also ensuring that flexibility and affordability for daycares, group homes, and camps is strongly considered.”