Through a New Jersey database, parents already have the option to confirm whether their kids' school district has conducted mandatory lead testing in drinking water, and see the results.

A proposed law advanced by an Assembly committee aims to expand transparency in this area by giving parents access to results for individual schools and child care centers.

"The impacts of lead exposure, in children especially, can cause serious health concerns," said Asm. Sterley Stanley, D-Middlesex, a primary sponsor of the measure. "I think it's very important that we keep a steady watch on this."

School districts in New Jersey are currently required to perform lead tests every three years. And regulations from 2017 require all licensed child care centers to test for lead in drinking water.

The bill, unanimously approved by the Assembly Environment and Slid Waste Committee on Nov. 15, would require the Department of Education and the Department of Children and Families to establish an online reporting system for schools and child care centers to report lead testing results. Within 90 days of the creation of the database, schools and centers would have to submit or resubmit lead testing results for public access.

"An easily searchable public database of testing will provide parents with the transparency that they deserve and will allow families to take the necessary precautions to keep their children protected from lead in drinking water," Assembly sponsors said in a joint statement.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

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