lead

Drinking water at several Polk County Public Schools has tested positive for lead.

Now, the school district says it will test all of its schools for the highly toxic metal.

There are more than 200,000 students attending hundreds of schools across the Hillsborough County Public School district. The average age of those schools is 50 years old.

Now, the district is in the process of voluntarily testing drinking water for lead in those school buildings and its other facilities.

Nearly a year and a half into performing its new water quality program, Leon County Schools is considering a change in what triggers corrective measures against lead.

About 20 percent of baby food samples tested over a decade-long period had detectable levels of lead, according to a new report from Environmental Defense Fund, a nonprofit group.

The group evaluated data collected by the Food and Drug Administration from 2003 to 2013. This included 2,164 baby food samples. They found 89 percent of grape juice samples, 86 percent of sweet potatoes samples and 47 percent of teething biscuits samples contained detectable levels of lead.

Firearms safety is key for people who use weapons at work or for recreational shooting. But one risk has been little acknowledged: Lead dust exposure.

In a standard bullet, a solid lead core wrapped in a copper jacket sits atop a stack of gunpowder and lead primer. When the gun fires, the primer ignites, the gunpowder lights, and some of the lead on the bullet boils. When the casing snaps out of the ejection port, lead particles trail behind it. As the bullet hurtles down the barrel of the gun, a shower of lead particles follows.

Exposure to lead as a child can affect an adult decades later, according to a study out Tuesday that suggests a link between early childhood lead exposure and a dip in a person's later cognitive ability and socioeconomic status.

Lead in the United States can come from lots of sources: old, peeling paint; contaminated soil; or water that's passed through lead pipes. Before policies were enacted to get rid of lead in gasoline, it could even come from particles in the fumes that leave car tailpipes.

A new report by the advocacy group Environment Florida argues that water in Florida’s schools and day cares may contain dangerous levels of lead, but that there is no way of knowing how widespread the problem is. Its release coincides with the launch of a nationwide campaign to ‘Get the Lead Out.'

Academy Prep

Do you know how safe your tap water is to drink? 

When fifth- and sixth-grade students at Academy Prep in St. Petersburg researched that question, they learned the answer could come with some serious health consequences.

Tallahassee is not Flint say Leon School Board members, city officials and researchers who found lead the water supply for area schools.  The Leon School Board took up the issue Thursday.

The Leon County School Board is planning a special meeting to discuss lead levels in the district’s drinking water.

FIU

A Florida International University dean will lead a study on the effects of lead exposure on children's mental health thanks to a nearly $3 million grant.

At his site Our Health Policy Matters, consultant Paul Gionfriddo lists the public health initiatives that have had the biggest impact during his lifetime.