Solution for Education: Remove toxic chemicals from the educational environment.

Remove toxic chemicals from the educational environment.

As your Public Advocate, we released "Lead & Kids: Why are 30,000 NYC Children Contaminated?", a detailed study of the deadly impact of lead-based paint in New York City residential housing, schools, and day care centers. While that helped to get the lead out, another contaminant has recently been identified: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) carcinogens, which can lower IQ scores and cause asthma, and which are common in window and door caulking found in 266 New York City schools built or renovated in the 1960s and 1970s. In uncovering these toxins last year, The Daily News demonstrated that schools had 4 to 4,000 times the legal threshold, with 95 percent of 377 pupils tested having low-level concentrations in their blood. The Environmental Protection Agency listed PCBs as a carcinogen in 1978, imposing a fine of $3,000 and $25,000 per day until toxic materials are removed. We must continue testing this City's schools for harmful chemicals to protect our children and support legislation that would provide funding for this expensive undertaking, including the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public Schools Facilities Act on the Federal level and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal's annual requirement for PCB testing and posting of results by the Department of Education.

Former New York City Public Advocate Mark Green, "Change for New York: 100 Ideas for a Better City," 2009.
Mark Green for New York Public Advocate