Women’s health organizations drew attention to the effects polychlorinated biphenyl compounds,(PCBs) could have on the reproductive health of female students and staff in the city’s schools with a press conference on Monday.
PCBs have been found in lighting ballasts in 700 of the city’s schools thus far. The city has undertaken a costly 10-year plan to clean up the PCBs, though many parents and community members think that isnot fast enough. The city reports that in most cases, PCBs remain well contained within the ballasts and are only harmful if they become airborne and children are exposed to them for a long time.
Director of the SUNY Albany Institute for Health and the Environment (Designated as a Collaboration Center by the World Health Organization), Dr. David Carpenter, and president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health, Andrea Miller, were among the speakers.
“Clear scientific research shows a relationship between prenatal PCB exposure and lowered IQ scores; increased incidence of behavioral disorders; thyroid dysfunction; growth deficits; decreased attention, alertness, and responsiveness; and reduced immune function,” states the press release.