Despite the fact that the District of Columbia has been aware of potential lead contamination for about a month, the University has done little to alert students to a potential threat. Given the danger that lead exposure poses to students’ health, it is perplexing that the University has not responded to this situation with haste.
Although the University is in no position to correct such contamination, it is incumbent upon GW – both as a landlord and an educational institution – to alert its students of the potential risk. Some apartment buildings in the area have placed announcements and warnings in their buildings alerting tenants to the potential danger of lead poisoning. To correct this, the University must immediately provide students with facts and information about lead exposure, and potential ways to procure safe drinking water.
A potential contamination of drinking water on campus is a serious issue. And while the University has not confirmed any lead contamination on campus, it should make free test-kits available to students wishing to know the safety of their water supply. Proactively addressing this issue is imperative in protecting the health of students at GW.