Environment & Health Hong Kong

Lead contamination in water found at two more educational institutes

Excessive lead content has been found in water samples at True Light Girls’ College in Yau Ma Tei and Lingnan University in Tuen Mun. The discoveries mean that nine educational institutes have now been affected by the citywide scandal.

At True Light Girls’ College, five out of 15 water samples were found to carry lead contents that are over safety standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO), reported Oriental Daily.

At Lingnan University, six samples out of 58 were found to carry lead contents that are over safety standards, announced the school on Tuesday.

True Light Girls' College. Photo: Wikimedia Commons via Exploringlife.

True Light Girls’ College. Photo: Wikicommons.

At True Light, five contaminated samples came from taps in the canteen as well as water fountains. Samples contained 114, 91, 54, 26 and 19 micrograms of lead per litre. The water sample containing the highest content was more than 10 times over the WHO safety standard at 10 micrograms of lead per litre. The school has stopped using the affected water supplies and will install water filters.

At Lingnan, the contaminated samples came from a water boiler at a dining hall inside the student canteen as well as a water dispenser at the outdoor sports ground. Lead contents from the two samples were at 12 and 25 micrograms per litre respectively.

The school also tested unfiltered water samples. Four contaminated samples came from unfiltered water in the pantries at Lingnan University’s three student hostels, as well as the pantry of an academic building. However, test results from filtered water samples at the hostels indicated the water is safe for consumption.

Lingnan University will install water filters at dining hall of the student canteen and the water dispensers at the outdoor sports ground.

Lingnan University. Photo: Wikimedia Commons via Wing1990hk.

Lingnan University. Photo: Wikicommons.

The first case of lead contamination was discovered in July when a water sampling investigation was conducted at Kai Ching Estate in Kowloon City. Eleven public housing estates and nine educational institutes have been affected to date. The majority of these housing estates were constructed in the last decade.

On Tuesday, the government agreed to test the water supplies of 980 kindergartens for lead contamination, despite refusing to do so last week.

An independent commission chaired by a judge was appointed to investigate the lead-in-water scandal. The commission is expected to report in nine months.

Lead contamination in water found at two more educational institutes