Reader Interactions


  1. Fran Van Cleave says

    I thought nothing could be worse than the food served for lunch in my child’s school, but I was wrong. Why is it such a problem to provide clean water to kids in so many American schools? So glad you folks are fighting for what’s right!

  2. Bmommy says

    Avi, continue to be brave & speak up even if it’s not the popular thing to do. You are learning a good life lesson that will carry you throughout your life. I’m sorry for the ridicule from friend, peers & teachers, it’s just wrong. I suggest you take your advocacy higher up to your school district, to your state legislators, to the state department of education maybe you can be the one to create change. Often people don’t want to hear the truth & it’s hard to have an unpopular opinion, it’s easier to go with the crowd. Hugs to you & your mom.

  3. Cheryl says

    You can definitely get his IQ tested again as it is most likely to change. There can be variability as he is still an adolescent. He may qualify for MENSA and it has quite a few pretty fun benefits. I know our local group likes chess. But IQ is not the be it and end all. He sounds very smart and, most importantly, caring, resilient and persistent. Very impressive kid from the impression I have of this post.


    • Tamara says

      Thank you so much Cheryl!

      He’s really brilliant. There are some gems from this that I read to his Dad (my husband) and he was like “Wow, I cannot get over the pearls of wisdom coming from this kiddo!”


  4. Malea says

    Thank you all for doing so much research on your own time and fighting.
    The city & PPS need to change a lot of things and this should definitely be a priority. We need to stop poisoning our children from water and food. Have you compared results to regular unfiltered tap water? I just found an article that states Portland water has hexavalent chromium and arsenic among other contaminants, scary stuff.

    • Tamara says

      Hi Malea,
      Thank you for commenting. The water test of the bathroom sink (at the bottom of the post) is unfiltered tap water in our home. That test came in at 4.18 ppb. (vs. the 14.4 and 27.3 ppb results for the school drinking fountains.) Unfortunately we just tested for Lead with this round.

  5. Kathy Lauckner says

    What a real and honest story. I hope all of Portland holds the school district accountable and demands action.

  6. Kelly says

    Hi Tamara and Avi,
    I find your work super interesting, and I hope this is research qualifies as science extra credit because Avi should receive an A! Has your school board been informed of Avi’s current findings? I’m sure they’d love to read his findings and hear from Avi in person at a school board meeting.
    I know some of the drinking fountains at my son’s school have special filters. Maybe Avi’s information would encourage administrators to take the next steps towards improving the district’s drinking water quality.
    Thanks for sharing all your work,

  7. Robbie says

    Fabulous work and article. My family has has been lead poisoned too. My grandfather melted lead in his basement for his work with the San Jose police department reloading shells. This was the home that my mom grew up in and helped in the process. The lead destroyed my grandfathers heart before he could be chelated. My mom passed lead to me in utero and I passed it to my son. My mom, son and I have successfully chelated with EDTA through MD’s and naturopaths. My levels and my sons have decreased dramatically. Due to the extreme level of my moms exposure she does and annual series of chelation.

  8. Jason says

    This is very interesting research, thank you for all your work. I was wondering if the control samples from your house were taken after no one had used them for a while? Avi said he waited to take samples from the school fountains before they had been flushed and I was just wondering if the control samples were taken in a similar fashion (usually waiting to take samples early in the morning before anyone has used them)?

    Thank you for your time!

  9. Sandrine Perez says

    I have shared this in the Portland forums I am a part of, and beyond to the Nourishing Our Children and Weston A. Price Foundation communities and very much appreciative Avi’s invstigative reporting! I sincerely hope this will inspire change in the water offered at schools!

    I would love to see the videos that are mentioned in the article. I will try another browser, but there were no videos linked to or posted in the body of the article on Safari that I could access.

    • Tamara says

      Hi Sandrine! Thank you for commenting and thank you reading and sharing (and for watching if that works out!) I think you have to have your popup blockers turned off to watch the videos. Can you try that and let me know if it works for you?


      • Sandrine Perez says

        Yes, Tamara, I needed to open the article in Chrome and I can see all the videos! I thought that Avi’s report was incredibly well-written and I’d love you to pass that along to him! I will be sharing the article beyond the closed groups I’ve already shared in, but also our Weston A. Price Foundation and Nourishing Our Children’s pubic Facebook pages! I will also link to your Facebook page when I do! Again, thank you for this valuable investigative reporting!

        • Tamara says

          Thank you so much Sandrine!
          Hopefully we can connect in person again soon! [Come over for tea when I am going to be in town next!]
          – Tamara

  10. SheilaEMartin says

    Avi, you are my hero! I am forwarding this email to my son and grandson in Minneapolis. My grandson is also in middle school and now I will worry about lead in the water and school shootings.
    Tamara, because of your example I tested some of my vintage dishes that I have been collecting for years. Fortunately only one of them tested positive for lead. We live in an area that has a good hazardous waste disposal system so they did take the dish from me.
    I posted my findings on our local NEXT DOOR web site here in Stillwater, MN and the response was immediate and gratifying. People care.
    I also had a blood test and the results came out within the government “safe levels”.
    Safe…! Now to the task of trying to get it out of my system.
    Thank you both for you courage and persistence. You are saving lives.

    • Tamara says

      Thank you so much, Sheila! I will share this with Avi when he gets home from school today!
      – Tamara

  11. Ro says

    Thanks a lot for your work Avi!! thank you for caring! Your prompted me to go check my kids schools water supply and I’ll be contacting the school district. Tamara could you please share which water filter do you have at home? I have the aquasana,it says it filters lead, but haven’t tested the water. Do you know more about it?

  12. SLO says

    This young man is impressive and no doubt going places. He must have a very strong self esteem to tolerate the social stigma and ostracizing he’s had to cope with. A young version of Erin Brokovich! Thank you parents for supporting him!!

    • Tamara says

      Thank you so much! He is amazing. I am super proud of him. We have to figure out what is next for him for school. With his brain injury he has not gotten the accommodations that he is legally required to get from the school district – so there’s no way he could even begin to tackle high school… We’re working on figuring out alternatives that can both accommodate his brain injury AND give him the stimulation and learning he wants and craves (he wants to be an astrophysicist!)

  13. Tammy says

    Excellent job, Avi!! Great reporting and I love how you did control samples and sampled first water of the morning–just like a water quality scientist! I am an environmental engineer in CA and I used to do water testing for the city. Every few years we would have to go out and collect water samples for Lead (and Copper) to comply with Fed and State guidelines. We would have to try to select samples in the areas that were MOST impacted by lead–based on what we knew of the age of buildings or types of pipelines installed or previous positive results. The law required us to try to find the worst lead levels in the city. I suggest reporting your findings to your local water department. Ask them to collect samples at your school next time they do sample collection for lead. It sounds like you are in Portland–here are their latest water quality reports: Also, it looks like they provide free lead testing kits–you could repeat your sampling to see if there is variance. Great research and reporting! I agree with the earlier comment to report this to your school board! Great job, you should be proud!

  14. Jamie Lok says

    Thank you so much for your brave inquiry. I was just starting to question the drinking quality of my sons school fountains. I was just wondering how all the fountains in our school were suddenly ‘working ‘ again after two years. How infuriating! Our school is going to be one of the pilot schools for a filter to see if it is works instead of replacing the pipes. I started to wonder why they are testing it out on children like Guinea pigs, and why are they needing to change the fountains if they were already fixed. You would think PPS would have learn there lesson two years ago. Thank you for this information.

  15. Colescott says

    Thanks for being the coolest brother a guy could wish for! I am so happy you did this and shared your articulate findings with such a wide community. Thanks for being you and for having the courage to speak up, always. Much love and I hope to see you soon! Peace

  16. Karina says

    This is great information. It actually prompted me to test the water in two of the classrooms in which I work at PPS. One tested 85 ppb and the other classroom tested 75 ppb. The water was tested at a certified environmental lab here in Portland. I haven’t notified PPS yet of my results. I’m wondering how PPS responded to Avi’s test? The District removed all filtered water from our site because they assured us that the tap water was now safe for consumption.

    • Tamara says

      Hi Karina –

      In true PPS fashion they have not bothered to respond to us (or to Avi personally – which would have been the respectful thing to do) but they did respond to our state legislators. I am working on a follow up post from my perspective and Avi will also likely do a follow up post with his perspective as well. This is truly outrageous.


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