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Hong Kong's tainted water scare

Toxic water scandal continues: Two more Hong Kong kindergartens report excessive lead-in-water levels

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 October, 2015, 7:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 October, 2015, 9:23am

Lead-tainted water slightly above World Health Organisation standards has been found at two more kindergartens, bringing the total to five institutions.

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Authorities tested 36 water samples from 21 kindergartens. A spokesman for the Education Bureau said yesterday that a water sample from St Thomas’ Catholic Kindergarten in Kwai Tsing contain lead levels of 16 micrograms per litre, while two samples from Yuen Long Church (CCC) Long Ping Estate Chan Kwong Kindergarten recorded levels of 10.2 and 11 mcg/l – slightly above the safe limit of 10 mcg/l set by the WHO.

The three lead-tainted water samples were taken from wall-mounted dispensers. According to the two kindergartens, the water from the dispensers was used for drinking by staff and students.

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The Department of Health will arrange blood tests for 762 students, two pregnant teachers and one lactating teacher.

The remaining 33 samples from 19 kindergartens met WHO standards.

Up to October 19, the authorities had tested 928 water samples from 381 kindergartens and 21 schools. Excessive lead was found in seven samples from five kindergartens.

Government tests have also uncovered excessive lead levels in the water of 11 public housing estates, one private residential development and three primary schools since the scandal broke in July.