Until recently, most parents didn’t worry that their children were being exposed at school to a highly toxic chemical that has been linked to asthma, learning disabilities, behavioral disorders and even cancer.
Well, all that changed last summer in New York City, when the Department of Education released the results of pilot study that showed that all three of the schools they tested for Polychlorinated Biphenyls, more commonly known as PCBs, contained high levels of the substance.
Commonly used in construction between 1950 and 1978, PCBs maybe present in more than 750 NYC schools! When NYCC members heard that they kids schools could contain highly toxic chemicals and the DOE did not have a plan to test their school immediately, they took matters into their own hands, holding protests and rallies and even conducting secret testing of caulk and soil and guess what they found? All of the samples we submitted tested positive for PCBs – one school had levels over 5 THOUSAND times the EPA standard.
After months of protests, the Department of Education announced they would remove PCB contaminated light fixtures over the next TEN YEARS!
Well ten years is too long to wait. Parents are demanding that the DOE removes all PCB contaminated light fixtures immediately and conduct through testing and remediation of PCBs in soil, air and caulk as well.
Are you concerned that your child’s school has PCBs? Check out our handy search tool and find out.
This post was published with permission from NY Communities for Change, where it originally appeared.
Copyright 2011 K-12 News Network's The Wire