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MSU Extension Service's SipSafe Program
Proceedings of the 2023 Mississippi Water Resources Conference

Year: 2023 Authors: Gann L.

Protecting children from lead exposure plays a critical role in ensuring they develop into healthy adults. Children under the age of 6 have shown slowed growth, learning disabilities and other physical and mental impairments after prolonged exposure to environmental lead. The SipSafe Program seeks to limit children's exposure to lead via drinking water by screening water in qualifying schools and childcare facilities across Mississippi, as well as offering remediation assistance and educational materials on the dangers of lead. Mississippi State Extension Service receives funding for the SipSafe Program via the EPA WIIN Grant and has implemented their 3Ts model. With assistance from Mississippi State Department of Health, Mississippi Department of Education, Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory and other cooperating partners, SipSafe has developed into a program that:

  • Trains directors and staff at participating facilities how to protect their children from lead exposure.
  • Tests drinking water in participating facilities for lead and its sources.
  • Takes action to help facilities reduce the amount of lead in their drinking water and further raise state-wide awareness of lead exposure in children.
Utilizing public water quality data and elevated blood lead level data, SipSafe has identified 14 counties in Mississippi in which to focus its initial screening activities. It is anticipated that data collected from these counties will be beneficial in future school and childcare drinking water screening efforts. For more information on SipSafe, visit extension.msstate.edu/sipsafe

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