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Oregon Lawmakers Advance Measure To Require Schools To Test For Lead

File photo. A measure that would require school districts to test for lead is moving forward in Salem.

Oregon lawmakers are moving ahead with a measure that would require school districts to test for lead.

Children are especially vulnerable to lead, which can harm the nervous system and development of the brain. The bill comes after lead was found in drinking water at several Portland area schools.

Some districts have already begun testing for lead, but Morgan Allen of the Oregon School Boards Association testified that the bill establishes standards for those tests.

"When everybody started testing, some of the labs—which are all accredited by the Oregon Health Authority—the protocols are a little bit different, and there was some confusion about how to test,” Allen said. “This bill will require the Health Authority to set down guidelines so that everybody is testing the same way, essentially."

The bill would also require school districts to post the results of the tests online and email the information to parents. The measure advanced out of a budget subcommittee Friday.