PCBs force Hartford school to close; students attending other schools

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– The Clark Elementary and Middle School in Hartford is shut down and the students bused to other facilities after air samples came back positive for PCBs.

PCBs are often found in older buildings and considered to cause cancer in large enough quantities. The school was renovating, putting in a new sprinkler system, and near the end of the project when David Medina of the Hartford Public Schools says they preformed the mandatory state testing and the air samples.

“The air samples came back at slightly elevated levels for children five years old or younger,” said Medina.

There were two rounds of tests, the first one before Christmas break was high, so they ventilated the building for three days and then tested again after break. Medina says they were still high, so they shut the school down.

“This is strictly being been done a) as a precaution, and b) their instructional time has been interrupted tremendously,” said Medina.

The students have lost four days in 2015. Right now they are being bused to nearby schools. They hope to have results on a third set of air tests Monday, and they will come up with a plan from there. Ibraltino Tavares is a parent and says it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“They should take the precautions before they make the other kids sick, and find a better solution before they open up the school,” said Tavares.

For more information about PCBs, click here.

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