Monday, November 30, 2009

PCBs still present in public schools

From the Queens Chronicle:

...Naomi Gonzalez, a Bronx mother of two, has instilled in her 7-year-old daughter advice that may seem unorthodox at first.

“I don’t let her drink the water in school, and she knows to ask not to sit by the window,” Gonzalez said.

Her daughter’s school, P.S. 178, is one of 85 citywide public schools — 20 of which are in Queens — where the Department of Education found traces of toxic PCB-contaminated caulk on classroom windows last year. Gonzalez, along with parents in the Bronx and Manhattan, has filed a lawsuit against the DOE and School Construction Authority. And, with the help of attorneys from New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, parents from Queens may not be far behind.

“These are really, really, really bad compounds,” said Miranda Massie, a lawyer at NYLPI. “There’s no doubt that other schools that haven’t been tested have been affected.”

Before the 1970s, PCBs, which stands for polychlorinated biphenyls, were added to the caulking material used to cushion window and door frames to make them more elastic, according to the NYLPI. Although they were banned in 1979, products that may still contain the compound include electrical equipment, oil-based paints, floor finishes and caulking — which has recently been found in abundance on many school windows.

PCBs volatize into air and don’t stay in place, Massie said, affecting the quality of air students breathe, as well as the soil around a facility.

“Even if they replace the windows, that doesn’t do it,” she said. “You need a complete clean up.”

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hugh Carey loves 'em.

Taxpayer said...

What else can be expected from the Commissar, whose orders are: Kill 'em in the womb! Then, kill 'em in the crib! Then, kill 'em in the illegal apartments! Then, kill 'em in the schools! Then, kill 'em as they cross the streets! Kill 'em anywhere you find them; just be sure to kill 'em!

And, then, during my campaign for a twelfth term, tell everyone how much I love 'em.

Anonymous said...

PCB's are really bad, so keep eating your genetically engineered, pesticides soaked, hormone enriched, irradiated, antibiotics infused, prion infected, corn syruped, Sulfites, Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) preservatives, artificial colorings, Aspartame sweetened, hydrogenated Trans-fatty acidified, (BPA)-Bisphenol A chemical poisoned dinners, and complain how old windows at school are harming your children.

Anonymous said...

I guess we should accept PCBs in the environment because there are other toxins out there.

What an asshole.

FlooshingRezident said...

I agree with Anonymous 2's comment about the quality of our food. Glad to see there's a like-minded individual out here in the Wild West.

I'm amazed that people are still buying white bread and soda. The big Pathmark in Whitestone barely carries anything organic, citing the local lack of interest. That's total bullshit. An employee told me, off the record, that stocking is 100% determined by how much the manufacturers will pay for the shelf space. It has absolutely nothing to do with what the public wants.

I think it's ironic that the same parents that buy Lunchables for their kids are worried about caulking!

Anonymous said...

I just realized that I should be dead...pcbs, asbestos, lead paint in the school buildings...heck, my schools had coal fired furnaces as well....imagine all the soot and crap that was floating around in the air....

Anonymous said...

Thank you for agreeing with me, 'Flooshing Rez'. Sometimes I feel that worrying about the unhealthy things in my daily life, organized according to my own personal hierarchy from most toxic, all the way down the list to PCB contaminated caulking. Leaves me at odds with the obese, smoking, drinking, 'Micky D's' eating, profanity calling majority.
Anon #2.

primadonna said...

"..I think it's ironic that the same parents that buy Lunchables for their kids are worried about caulking!"

Flooshing, it's funny you mention that. SO many of my students bring that in for "lunch" and I get so annoyed. How hard is it to pack a sandwich for their kid, especially when they don't even have a job to go to being on welfare?

Anonymous said...

So, what's a little toxic caulk on windows? Such a Fuss! The new Maspeth High School is being built on a well known contaminated and toxic parcel of land and the DOE and SCA has sanctioned this. Studies have shown this land to be poisonous. The powers that be don't care about your children, they only care about the money they make on these projects. If our kids get sick, Obamacare will take care of them.

Auntie Invasion said...

was it put in by illegal aliens working under a contractor who has a MWBE certification for the Dept of Education?

you betcha it was!

Taxpayer said...

FlooshingRezident said...
"An employee told me, off the record, that stocking is 100% determined by how much the manufacturers will pay for the shelf space."

- - -

Then why isn't the "employee" the store manager?

Perhaps the "employee" actually believes that shoppers who want what a store refuses to provide, will keep shopping where their preferences are defied in favor of the manufacturers' needs.

Yeah! That's how it works.

Politicians like the Commissar defy the demands of the taxpayers (customers). Merchants treat customers like royalty.

That's why the schools have PCBs and all sorts of dangerous toxins that can kill or maim.

Anonymous said...

Pathmark is not in Whitestone, and neither is the "Whitestone cinemas".

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see there are other people in Queens who care about what's in their food. Thanks for your comments. Eating McDonald's and drinking HFCS-sweetened soda will be treated like ciragette smoking in just a few decades.

I grew up in Europe, and when I came here I was suprised by the lack of quality bread in the common supermarkets like Key Food and Pathmark. All the white bread they sell is sweetened and soft like a pillow. It smells bad when you toast it. Real bread has a crust. I found a supermarket that sells whole-grain organic bread and since then I'm only buying that.

You can't be possibly eating nitrite-laden salami and cheeze-doodles and then complain about PCB in the caulking. I bet the people who do that think diet soda is healthy.

Queens Crapper said...

Ok let me explain something to all of you...

This post is not about food, it's about toxins found in school windows.

It is possible to be concerned about both. But there is no mention in this article of what Naomi Gonzalez feeds her 7-year old.

So please keep it on topic.

primadonna said...

Crappy are you a topic nazi? :)

Don't conversations usually veer off in one direction or another?

Queens Crapper said...

I'm the moderator. The problem is people bring up shit that isn't even related to the topic under discussion. There are people who do that intentionally for one reason or another. They can do that somewhere else.

primadonna said...

Well I'm definitely guilty of that. But I swear it is not intentional. I type whatever pops into my head.
I can't help myself Crappy!

I apologize in advance for future veerings.

gov. arnold schwarzenegger said...

Ein topic nazi! Ja, zat vas a gut von!

Anonymous said...

This sounds like yet another environmental scare/scam designed to benefit abatement contractors more than anyone else. How much of this stuff actually gets into the indoor air? How much can accumulate in building with leaky, 40 year old windows? Sure, it made sense to stop using PCBs in building materials and it make sense to be aware of them when doing renovations on old buildings. However, it should take more than a declaration that this is "very very bad stuff" to justify tearing apart half the buildings in the school system and risking making a manageable risk into an expensive mess.