(04/07/08) THE BRONX &舑; Bronx parents are expressing their concerns after tests conducted for The Daily News found PCB toxins in eight out of nine schools.
According to the EPA, PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyl, belong to a family of man-made organic chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons. They were used in various industrial applications, including caulking, from the 1950s until the 1970s. They were banned in 1979 after scientists discovered possible health effects.
PCBs can potentially lead to lower IQ scores and asthma. It has also been linked to cancer.
Of the nine schools tested, The Daily News reports six had levels of PCB that weren&舗;t acceptable. Three of those, P.S. 160, P.S. 178 and I.S. 131, are in the Bronx. The other three schools with high levels are P.S. 30 in Manhattan, P.S. 199 in Manhattan and P.S. 86 in Queens.
Parents were concerned after learning of the PCBs in schools.
&舠;It should be definitely checked out to see if it&舗;s there,&舡; says parent Archie Poller. &舠;If it&舗;s there, the kids should be taken out and changes made.&舡;
Caulk containing the PCBs is typically found on windowsills and doorframes in the schools. The Department of Education says that state regulations permit the caulk to stay in place. According to the department, only caulking in one school has leaked into the air or the surrounding environment.