Tara Monks / New York City PCB Probe Finds Three Schools With Elevated Levels

New York City PCB Probe Finds Three Schools With Elevated Levels

New York personal injury attorney alert: EPA study finds elevated levels of PCB, a carcinogen, in three NYC schools.

Wiki Image: NYC school buildings tested for PCBs.
New York City PCB Probe Finds Three Schools With Elevated Levels

// West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks

New York, NY – Preliminary results of a study focused on PCBs, polychlorinated biphenyls, in New York City schools have shown elevated levels of the chemical compounds in the first three buildings that were tested, as reported by The New York Times.

Officials with the Department of Education said the study was originally aimed at cracked caulk within the school buildings, but that air sampling also pointed to a lighting ballast, a regulating device in fluorescent lights made with PCB-contaminated oil. Since finding the sources of PCB, workers have been working to remove caulk and replace light fixtures at the three schools.

A spokeswoman for the education department said that all three schools, Public School 199 in Manhattan, Public School 309 in Brooklyn and Public School 178 in the Bronx, are scheduled to open September 8.

The EPA reported that the PCB levels of the three schools were higher than federal health benchmarks. EPA spokeswoman Mary Mears said the agency was waiting for the final results, due next week, but that the preliminary results posed no immediate cause for alarm.

An assemblywoman for the district that P.S. 199 falls into said the school previously underwent efforts to clean up PCBs, and expressed concern that the problem still exists.

PCBs are a class of chemical compounds that were used in construction materials and electrical products from the 1950s to 1978. They are known to be carcinogenic with long-term exposure and can affect the immune and reproductive systems.

The EPA has reached an agreement with New York City that will require school officials to conduct a pilot study in five schools to come up for a cleanup plan.

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