MSU Extension’s SipSafe Program Offers Free Water Testing
SipSafe works to screen water to reduce childhood lead exposure.
Schools and childcare centers serving children ages birth to five years in any Mississippi county are eligible to participate in the program.
Why should people be concerned about lead in drinking water? Lead is harmful to human health and has a bigger impact on children than adults.
While lead is a naturally occurring element, it can be toxic. Lead can be found in the air, water, soil, and in a wide variety of products, including pipes and plumbing fixtures, water faucets, paint, ceramics, batteries, gasoline, make-up and cosmetics, and ammunition.
In children, even low levels of lead exposure have been linked to learning disabilities, impaired hearing, shorter height, nervous system damage, and problems with blood cell formation and function.
Lead in the water used for drinking and cooking accounts for about 20% of what most people are exposed to. Babies who rely on formula can get 40 to 60% of their lead exposure from drinking water. This makes it a good focus point for reducing lead exposure, especially for children.
If you are a public school or public or privately-owned childcare facility interested in participating in the SipSafe program, which includes free water screening, educational support materials, and an optional 1-hour CEU webinar, contact Nelson McGough at 662-325-3295.
SipSafe is a joint project of MSU Extension, Mississippi Department of Health, Mississippi Bureau of Public Water Supply, Child Care Licensure, Mississippi Department of Education, Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory, University of Mississippi Sea Grant Law Center, and Lead Poisoning Prevention and Healthy Homes Program.