The NYC Dept. of Education released data on Wednesday on deteriorating lead-based paint in public schools and the results are not great for North Brooklyn. Over 900 NYC elementary classrooms, including 114 Brooklyn schools, tested positive for lead paint, with many tainted classrooms in Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and Bushwick, Chalkbeat first reported. 5,408 classrooms were tested as part of the inspection and it’s the first time DOE has released lead paint statistics.
The city’s classroom data (.XLS) release follows a June WNYC/Gothamist investigation of four schools that revealed “substantial levels of lead contamination from deteriorating paint inside four public elementary schools operated by the New York City Department of Education.”
NYC Councilmember Stephen Levin is holding a public meeting regarding the proposed k-8 school across from the Nuhart Plastics Superfund site on Thursday (2/7), at the Dupont Senior Housing Center (80 Dupont St.) from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
A letter (PDF) addressed to the NYC School Construction Authority written by a coalition of neighborhood groups and public officials explains that the planned site for the proposed school sits across the street from one of the most contaminated parcels in NY state:
The ground underneath the NuHart site is contaminated with an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 gallons of phthalates, which have begun migrating off site in a plume, toward the proposed school site. We will not be completely certain of the precise volume of phthalates under the NuHart site until the remediation begins. Phthalates are particularly hazardous to children’s health and have been implicated in negative infant and child health conditions like reduced gestational growth, asthma and issues with neurological and reproductive systems.1 Researchers and government agencies, including here in New York City, have strongly cautioned parents to reduce their children’s exposure to these highly toxic chemicals. These chemicals are so toxic they have been banned in children’s toys. The site is also contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE), a known carcinogen that can have serious effects on both long and short term health. These chemicals have been found in the soil, ground water and soil vapor. Soil vapor is of particular concern because of the potential that it has to migrate off-site. Continue reading →