New York parents have reason to be concerned for their children’s health after dangerously high levels of PCB were discovered in three schools. A group of highly toxic and extremely dangerous chemicals, PCBs were used frequently in buildings until they were banned in 1978.
As Kathryn Brown reported for CBS 2 in New York, PCBs “have been shown to cause nerve damage and affect brain function – particularly in children who are exposed.”
Surprisingly, school officials seem to be responding slowly to the threat, one would assume at the risk of future personal injury lawsuits – not to mention students and staff affected by the toxins.
According to Marcos Crespo, Assemblyman for the 85th district, PCB levels have been tested at 2,000 times the amount deemed safe. While only three schools have been tested for PCBs, there are potentially hundreds that could be affected.
For parents, and teachers, that is a frightening proposition. For both, the Department of Education’s seemingly slow response to what is by all accounts an immediate danger has been frustrating.
Currently making the rounds among parents and community members is a petition that demands testing for all 700 schools that could contain PCBs. With only three down, that leaves a lot to go. A delay in diagnosis could affect countless students and school employees.
According to Brown, city leaders have announced plans to test two more schools next summer.
For most, that’s just not going to be good enough.