(09/03/10) THE BRONX - A new study by the Environmental Protection Agency has revealed high levels of polychlorinated byphenyls (PCBs) in a Co-op City school.
The chemicals were found in window caulking, fluorescent lights and in the air at P.S. 178. The chemicals were regularly used in construction and electrical materials from the 1950s until 1978. The Bronx saw the construction of nearly 100 schools in that time frame, many of which could still have the toxic chemicals.
The EPA says there is not cause for immediate concern because PCBs only have a toxic effect after prolonged exposure. Such effects include cancer, respiratory issues and attention-deficit disorders. Testing will also be done at other schools in case they also have high levels of the toxic chemicals.
Specially trained environmental engineers will remove any contaminated parts and the Department of Education says its cleanup efforts will continue throughout the school year.