EPA Stops Testing Schools for PCBs, Report Says
By Kiratiana Freelon on March 1, 2011 8:09pm
By Olivia Scheck
MANHATTAN — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stopped testing city schools for PCBs, following a commitment by the city to replace potentially contaminated light fixtures, according to the New York Daily News.
News of the testing suspension came on the heels of last week's decision to begin removing light fixtures at schools throughout the city — a process that is expected to take 10 years.
A 2008 test found elevated levels of the polychlorinated biphenyls toxin, which is believed to cause cancer and other adverse health effects after prolonged exposure, falling from light fixtures at P.S. 199 on the Upper West Side.
That discovery, plus two years of lobbying by parents and elected officials, led the EPA to begin spot testing schools that are known to have old light fixtures.
All of the schools that had been tested as of Feb. 15, including P.S. 206, P.S. 37 and P.S. 112 in East Harlem, were found to be contaminated.