Lead poisoned water

Grade level: 4-5th grades

Skills: Division

Related environmental issues: Water pollution

Lead is a highly toxic metal. People are exposed to lead by putting the lead containing objects in their mouth or through the air they breathe. When lead builds up in the body, it causes serious health problems.  Lead is especially harmful to the developing brains of young children.

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  1. Lead could be contained in drinking water. In Flint, Michigan, many residents were poisoned by drinking water with high levels of lead because the water wasn’t properly treated. A research team found that at least a quarter of Flint households have drinking water with high levels of lead. There are 51,320 households in Flint city. About how many households in the city were exposed to high levels of lead?
  2. In Baltimore, Maryland, schools use water bottles instead of water fountains because most the water fountains are contaminated with lead. Baltimore City Public Schools spends $675,000 a year on bottled water.  How much money does the Schools spend on bottled water a month?

Source: Flint:  WHO , Oliver Lazarus & US Census Bureau  Baltimore: NPR


Answer keys

1.  12,830 households ( 51,320 / 4 = 12,830)

2.  $56,250 (675,000 / 12 = 56,250)