Potential lead hazards found at local daycare centers

We found at least 10 in the Cleveland area
Posted at 5:40 PM, Nov 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-21 21:05:57-05

New details just in after dangerous levels of lead were found in the water at more than 60 Cleveland schools.

We wanted to know if other facilities have a similar problem. News 5 uncovered some of the youngest and most vulnerable Cleveland residents could be facing the same issue.

Shocked, confused and troubled were the emotions when she spoke to a few daycare owners today, showing them that their property could be home to potentially hazardous lead. Out the three dozen places she looked up, she found 10 that could be at risk.

"Nooo...that's crazy," said Judy Billups, an In-Home Daycare Service Owner we visited today.

Billups has been running her in-home childcare service for nearly 15 years.

“I work every day; they're here every day. I do an overnight shift with 5 kids," she said.

So when she found out that she could have lead running through her water pipes she was devastated.

"I feel bad right now, knowing that I'm cooking with water with lead in it, I take care of 12 kids a day, and I feel really, really bad right now. It's like shocking, and I'm drinking it, my wife is drinking it."

We walked her through the steps. First, you log onto the Cleveland Water Department’s website, put in your address and then it tells you if you could potentially be at risk, hers came out positive.

"I'm mad that this water is inside this house, lead is in here, and I wasn't told about it," she said.

The fact that this is a daycare service is most alarming, given that age group is more susceptible to lead damage.

“The problem with younger children is they will absorb, more of the lead that they get exposed to particularly if they eat it, will be absorbed into their blood and into their body... and at that very important phase of development, it also can have a greater effect," explained Michael Reed, Director of the Clinical Research Center at UH Rainbow Babies & Children.

We were curious why it took us to do something about it, instead of the Water Department? We reached out, and are still waiting to hear back.

In the meantime, Judy tells me she's going to do all she can do to protect her and the kids she watches over.

“It's very helpful… and I want it tested here."

There are home test kits you can buy at the hardware store and EPA approved filters for your faucet, all that information can be found on the Water Department's website.