2008 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lennysiegel@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Jun 2008 09:54:59 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: [CPEO-BIF] New York City school leasing loophole
Contaminated Education? Toxic Schools and the Leasing Loophole

by Renata Perri Silberblatt
Brooklyn Rail
June 2008

From 1999 to 2002, Katie Acton's daughter attended PS 65 in Ozone Park, Queens, a school built on land that formerly contained an airplane parts factory. Though there is no history of respiratory disorders in the family, Acton's daughter developed asthma, while at PS 65. Other students and teachers at PS 65 also developed asthma, nausea, fatigue, persistent headaches, facial paralysis and cancer.

In 2002, parents at PS 65 found out that the land the school was built on contained Trichloroethylene or TCE. TCE is a colorless liquid used as a solvent for cleaning metal parts, that according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, "may cause nervous system effects, liver and lung damage, abnormal heartbeat, coma, and possibly death." Acton believes that the toxins her daughter was exposed to at school affected her breathing and ability to learn. She also believes that the Department of Education was aware of the toxin issues at PS 65 but never informed students' families.


For the entire article, see


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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