By Angela Musallam

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SACRAMENTO — A town hall meeting held on Thursday is answering questions after toxic levels of lead were found in the water supply for Sacramento State.

The study was done after the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

The overall goal is to have no lead in the water, but different agencies have different regulations for what’s acceptable.

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The California Department of Public Health allows lead concentration up to 0.2 micrograms per liter. The FDA allows up to five micrograms per liter. The Environmental Protection Agency takes action at 15 micrograms per liter. Respectively, of the 450 fountains at Sacramento State tested, 84 percent, 19 percent and 6 percent were above the acceptable levels.

Dozens of students and university staff are now seeking answers, after finding out they could have been drinking water contaminated with lead.

“I fill up a 32-ounce bottle a day twice for a whole work day,” said Haley Myers Dillon.

Dillon is a nursing mom. She says her main source of water comes from the University.

Hydration is key for Sacramento State football players Marcus Bruce and his teammate Dariyan.

“It makes me think about my pregnancy and now,” Dillon said.

“I fill up at least six times a day, I have to stay hydrated and healthy,” said Marcus Bruce. “It’s alarming to see the fountains I used to drink from now taped up, I freaked out.”

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CBS13 asked Sacramento County’s public health officer, what can students and university staff do to protect themselves from ingesting lead?

“Using a filter, making sure they run the water for 30 seconds and using cold water, especially for cooking and drinking,” said Dr. Olivia Kasirye.

Because the signs and symptoms of lead ingestion aren’t obvious, Dr. Kasirye is urging students and university staff to get a blood test.

She says pregnant moms and children under five are the most susceptible to lead poisoning, with terrible results.

“They can have a low IQ, ADHD and behavioral problems,” added Dr. Kasirye.

It’s a wake-up call for Dillon.

“I’m gonna get my blood tested and I’ll take my son in also,” she said.

Right now there’s no regulation for colleges and universities to test their water. Administrators here Sac State say they’re now looking into changing that.


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