/jcreiterlaw.com/Jonathan C. Reiter/ 02/05/2010
New York, NY – Leading New York premises liability lawyer, Jonathan C. Reiter, reports that the Department of Education has come to an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) www.epa.gov to require New York City to take a deeper look at the risks of exposure to PCB’s and create a plan of action to remove it from the 90 known contaminated schools, according to New York Daily News.
The toxic chemicals, PCB’s were used as an additive in caulking used in buildings before it was made illegal in 1977. It was reported that more than 200 schools in New York City are likely to be extensively contaminated with the toxin. In schools in Germany, where high levels of the toxic chemicals were found in the caulking, PCB’s were also found in the children’s blood. The more the children spent time around the contaminated caulking, the more PCB’s accumulated in their blood.
“We know that approximately 60% of the public schools and commercial buildings in U.S that were constructed during the period of maximum PCB use,” said The Harvard School of Public Health. “In countries where they have conducted a national inventory, half of the masonry buildings constructed during this era had elevated PCB content in the caulking, and air testing in these buildings showed high PCB air levels.”
One of the first schools in the study will be the school Naomi Gonzalez’s daughter attends, due to the EPA’s settlement in a lawsuit filed by Gonzalez to force the city to clean up Public School 178. Tests on the caulking were performed in a lab to determine the amount of PCB contaminants in her daughter’s school in 2008. The results revealed the toxin contained 111,000 parts-per-million in her public school’s caulking. Under government regulations, it is illegal for the PCB levels to be above 50 parts-per-million because it is considered toxic waste. It was reported that levels beyond the legal limit were found in at least six of the nine schools tested in the investigation. Another 85 city schools’ caulking was tested between April 2008 and September 2009 and found to also have illegally high PCB levels.
The city claims that as long as the PCB’s are sealed in the caulking there is no risk that the children will be exposed and affected. However, it is known that PCB’s can turn into vapor in the air and can circulate surface dust in the air in the space where students and teachers are for 7 hours a day. Experienced premises liability attorney Jonathan C. Reiter, states if you are a loved one has been knowingly exposed to a toxin or injured on public or private property, you may be entitled to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, or other related expenses. Contacting a premises liability lawyer who has years of experience in litigating claims may help you to recover your livelihood.
Premises liability news by New York personal injury attorney Jonathan C. Reiter, who may be contacted at (212) 736-0979.
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