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10 NYC classrooms closed for PCB testing

January 11, 2011 9:04:38 AM PST
Ten classrooms at two Staten Island schools have been closed while they await test results for PCB contamination.

Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Bonnie Bellows told The Wall Street Journal that it conducted an inspection of eight classrooms at P.S. 53. She said lab tests will determine if aging fluorescent light fixtures may have leaked PCBs.

The newspaper said city education officials also closed two classrooms at P.S. 36 after a teacher expressed concern about a leaking light fixture. It said the fixture has already been removed.

The city says it doesn't believe the light fixtures pose an immediate health concern. It says that the known risks come from ingesting the material, not inhaling it.

The city says replacing the fixtures at approximately 800 schools would cost $1 billion.

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