BY Bill Egbert
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
May 5th 2010
Parents, scientists and officials blasted the federal Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday at a hearing on whether to relax safety standards for toxins in public schools.
“We’re questioning the motives behind this,” said Deputy Bronx Borough President Aurelia Green. “It doesn’t look like it’s being done in the interest of students and school employees.”
The hearing – on a proposal to change limits set in 1979 on polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) – comes after a Daily News investigation found PCBs in the caulking of several public schools at levels thousands of times higher than what’s considered safe.
When PCBs were outlawed for most uses 30 years ago, EPA regulations declared that anything with concentrations of 50 parts-per-million must be removed.
A 2008 Daily News investigation found PCB levels as high as 225,000 ppm in the caulking of several public schools.
When it proposed a rule change, the EPA specifically cited the burden that removing contaminated caulking would impose on schools. Most of those who testified said any change should be based on science and safety rather than on financial issues.
Ann Casey, a PCB expert at Northeast Analytical Labs, said that based on the latest science, the standard should be tightened, not loosened.
“A study that I did myself of very low levels of PCB exposure in the air showed negative health effects in rats,” said Casey, who has studied PCBs for 22 years.
Earlier this year, the city Department of Education reached a settlement with the EPA to do pilot studies in order to develop a plan for dealing with PCB caulk in the schools.
Several speakers blasted the EPA for trying to relax standards before studies are complete.
“This method of dealing with the problem is something we would have expected from the previous administration,” said Green.
“The Obama administration is better than this.”
Political Action Committee – National Apartment Association (NAA) files Amicus Brief in mold case (two infant deaths in mold filled apt – Wasatch Prop Mgmt) citing US Chamber/ACOEM ‘litigation defense report’ to disclaim health effects of indoor mold & limit financial risk for industry
“Changes in construction methods have caused US buildings to become perfect petri dishes for mold and bacteria to flourish when water is added. Instead of warning the public and teaching physicians that the buildings were causing illness; in 2003 the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, a think-tank, and a workers comp physician trade organization mass marketed an unscientific nonsequitor to the courts to disclaim the adverse health effects to stave off liability for financial stakeholders of moldy buildings. Although publicly exposed many times over the years, the deceit lingers in US courts to this very day.” Sharon Noonan Kramer
Information on Riverstone Residential, the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency, and the owners of Toxic Mold Infested Jefferson Lakes Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana continuing to allow tenants to be exposed to extreme amounts of mold toxins
Irrefutable evidence indicates that Riverstone Residential, Guarantee Service Team of Professionals, & plaintiffs’ attorney, J Arthur Smith III, must have agreed to exclude evidence that would have shown the owners of Jefferson Lakes Apartments & Riverstone Residential had knowledge of the severe MOLD INFESTATION at the complex before we moved in