Schools remained closed in a northeast Ohio town Monday as authorities continued testing water feared to contain dangerous levels of lead, the Associated Press reported. News of possible water contamination in Sebring, a village near Youngstown, broke as controversy continued to unfold in Flint, Michigan, over its poisoned water.
The fresh round of testing was being carried out for "precautionary reasons," according to an email sent by Sebring Schools Superintendent Toni Viscounte, AP reported. School was canceled Friday after local authorities issued an initial warning for Sebring over the weekend. Water testing discovered lead levels of 21 parts per billion in several homes in the region, according to Reuters, and the action level recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency is when levels reach 15 parts per billion.
— CNN (@CNN) January 25, 2016
Volunteers distributed bottled water to Sebring residents throughout the weekend as protests continued in Flint. In a cost-cutting move in 2014, Flint city authorities had switched from buying water from Detroit to treating water that came out of the Flint River.
Researchers soon discovered that the water contained high levels of lead and was causing health problems, particularly in young children. Several of the households tested were using water that contained lead levels of more than 2,500 parts per billion – or more than 166 times the EPA action level.
"I kept talking to the doctors, trying to figure out why he wasn't growing," one local mother, Lee Anne Walters, told NPR in September, speaking about her four-year-old son, Gavin. "He was 27 pounds at 4 years old. His hair was thinning, breaking out in rashes."