Community Board 13 is demanding the Department of Education begin taking toxic chemicals in schools more seriously.
Responding to recent reports that some Brooklyn schools contain the toxic Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), the board wants the city to host public hearings on the issue and improve communication with parents and educators about the substances.
PCBs were recently found in area schools including Sheepshead Bay’s P.S. 52 (2675 East 29th Street) and P.S. 288 in Coney Island. The chemical was used in construction materials, especially around windows and door frames, before being banned in the 1970s. It has the potential to cause cancer, as well as a variety of other adverse health effects on the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, and endocrine system.
“It is in the best interest of everyone if the Department of Education takes a proactive approach to keeping everyone informed and addressing the concerns of students, parents, teachers and members of the general public,” boardmember Brian Gotlieb wrote in a letter to schools Chancellor Joel Klein. Gotlieb is the chairperson of the board’s Education, Library and Youth Services Committee.