Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Chad R. Hammerschmidt, Ph.D. (Advisor); Silvia E. Newell, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Stacey Hundley, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Mark J. McCarthy, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Lead (Pb) is a human-health concern, especially with regard to exposures of children. Lead contaminated drinking water is a primary route of exposure for children; however, water sampling for Pb is voluntary in schools with a public water supply. This study examined Pb in tap water from public schools around Dayton, OH. Schools were selected to span a range of ages (construction year) and community socioeconomic status. Of the 28 schools contacted, seven responded "affirmatively" to sampling, two responded "negatively", and 19 did not respond. None of the schools that were sampled had Pb concentrations exceeding the U.S. EPA guidelines for supplemental action, which is greater than or equal to 10% of plumbing fixtures exceeding 15 µg/L. Only four of 100 fixtures sampled had Pb exceeding 20 µg/L, the concentration recommended for fixture removal in schools. As expected, increased Pb levels were associated with warmer water temperatures. Water from sink faucets had greater Pb levels than water from drinking fountains, and Pb concentrations were greater in initial water sample draws versus samples collected after a 5-minute flush. To combat the leaching of Pb into school tap water, older lead and brass containing fixtures should be replaced, and changes in physicochemical parameters should be monitored to identify risks of Pb exposure.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Year Degree Awarded