A Brooklyn public school building that had leaking light fixtures will be moved to the top of the list of schools with PCB problems, and the city will replace its lighting very soon, city officials said last week.
The building, which houses P.S. 146 Brooklyn New School and Middle School 448 Brooklyn Secondary School for Collaborative Studies on Henry Street in Carroll Gardens, had light fixtures known to contain polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. These are toxic chemicals that have been associated with health effects like skin conditions and immune system and cognitive deficiencies. Research also indicates that PCBs cause cancer, with the risk rising with prolonged exposure.
The city’s Department of Education’s plan to replace the lighting in city schools has been controversial, to say the least, because of the pace of its timetable. Federal officials, as well as parents at a number of schools, including P.S. 146, have been pressing the city to move more quickly.