News about Schools and Toxic Risk Archive

December 2009
  • 12/28/2009, Schools could learn lessons on food safety, USAToday, "There were more than 470 outbreaks of food-borne illnesses in schools from 1998 through 2007, sickening at least 23,000 children, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
  • 12/28/2009, Contaminated day-care site being demolished, Philly.com, "As many as 100 babies and children were exposed to toxic mercury vapors in the former Accutherm thermometer factory, a one-story concrete building in Franklinville, after it opened as a day care in January 2004."
  • 12/22/2009, Mesothelioma Concerns Raised By Vocational School Students, Teachers, Asbestos.net, "Bethlehem, PA—After working in a home that was contaminated with the toxic mineral material asbestos, several teachers and up to 100 students at a vocational school are now concerned about their risk for mesothelioma, the asbestos cancer."
  • 12/21/2009, New classroom addition cleared out, Sun Sentinel, "The possible culprit: A lightweight concrete in the building's roof that is still going through the "curing" process, Drew said. Principal Susan Colton moved teachers and students from the addition into the main building about two weeks ago because she continued to receive complaints about health problems, Drew said."
  • 12/21/2009, Inspectors Search Ky. School Grounds For Radiation, WLKY.com, "The Paducah Sun reported that the search at Heath Elementary School over the weekend came after the U.S. Department of Energy received an affidavit saying a contractor working at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant had dumped several truck loads of dirt from the plant on the elementary school's grounds in 1980."
  • 12/20/2009, Dreams dashed on contaminated land, South Coast Today.com, "Further testing of the 6-acre athletic complex, prompted by school officials who were considering building the new Keith Middle School there, revealed significant concentrations of PCBs, lead and other hazardous chemicals."
  • 12/18/2009, Cost of Dorton revamp up again, Appalachian News-Espress, "The changes, officials said, became necessary due to water damage over time and mold that has grown inside some of the walls of the school as a result of the damage."
  • 12/16/2009, City council hears concerns about waste spreading, takes no immediate action, The TimesNews.com, "Questions about the safety of applying waste solids to farmland near schools reached the Burlington City Council this week, along with a request for the city to voluntarily stop shipping sludge to those fields."
  • 12/16/2009, 26,500 school cafeterias lack required inspections, USAToday, "The next day, students began to feel sick, and by that Wednesday, 52 students and eight faculty members had fallen ill with the same symptoms the sick worker had suffered."
  • 12/16/2009, Naperville Central teachers link health woes to construction project, Chicago Tribune, "Since construction of an addition began at Naperville Central High School this year, teachers have complained that odors and exhaust fumes from the work site are triggering headaches, sinus infections and respiratory problems."
  • 12/15/2009, Ga. students back at school after mercury spill, Associated Press, "Oglethorpe County schools Superintendent Raymond Akridge says workers decontaminated a gym and one classroom over the weekend, and had two other classrooms left to finish before U.S. Environmental Protection Agency authorities would allow the school to reopen them."
  • 12/15/2009, EPA detects brain damaging toxin near school, USA Today, "WASHINGTON — Government regulators have found high levels of manganese, a dangerous metal that can affect the brain, in the air outside a school in eastern Ohio."
  • 12/15/2009, Gas leak forces school evacuation, Boston.com, "Fumes nauseate dozens of students."
  • 12/15/2009, Parents rally to put brakes on moldy trailer classrooms in Parkchester, NYDaily News.com, " ...for these public school pupils involves dangerous mold in their trailer classrooms, parents charge."
  • 12/15/2009,Granville school board stops pursuit of oil, gas drilling, Newark Advocate, "The school site lies along a line of potential oil and gas drilling sites in northwest Granville Township that runs through the school property. The firm proposed to conduct seismic tests along that line to decide exactly where to drill."
  • 12/13/2009, New Bedford sues Monsanto, Cornel-Dubilier over buried toxic materials, South Coast Today.com, "NEW BEDFORD — Monsanto Co. and Cornell-Dubilier Electronics, Inc., which manufacture pesticides and electrical capacitors, respectively, have been linked to PCB contamination at three privately-owned properties in the Parker Street neighborhood near Keith Middle School, according to court documents the City of New Bedford filed Thursday in Bristol County Superior Court."
  • 12/11/2009,  Asarco to pay $1.8B for cleanup, Seattle Times, "Roughly $188 million went to the state of Washington, which will mostly cover soil sampling and cleanup around schools, day cares, parks and homes in Pierce and South King counties. That area was contaminated by a century of lead and arsenic from a smelter outside Tacoma."
  • 12/10/2009, Foul odor from boy's bathroom sickens 11 at Nogales High School, San Gabriel Valley News.com, "It marked the second time in less than a week a hazardous materials incident occurred on the campus of 2,200 students, officials said."
  • 12/10/2009, Wiggins schools on budget watch, Fort Morgan Times, "Fixing the building with its hazardous mold problems is practically impossible with the current budget restraints, Neel said. Even a plan to save half of it would cost almost as much as tearing the whole thing down."
  • 12/09/2009,  Chemical fumes may be to blame for school evacuation, Cleveland Advocate, "The officials are now looking into the possibility that the five employees might have been inadvertently exposed to chemical fumes that resulted from some of the employees cleaning the ovens."
  • 12/09/2009, Crews respond to explosion at Houston area-plant, Associated Press, SEABROOK, Texas — A fiery explosion Wednesday at an industrial plant in the Houston area shook nearby homes and generated black smoke seen for miles. No injuries were immediately reported. . .The Clear Creek Independent School District instructed everyone on the campuses of its 28 schools in the area to stay indoors, with the air conditioning and heating units turned off."
  • 12/08/2009, Two Students Taken to Hospital After Bus Has Mechanical Problems, News Channel 7, "Officials say the three students waited on bus for about 30 minutes while repairs were being made, and when they got to the school, two fell to sleep, and one threw up."
  • 12/08/2009, Autism school supporters protest Navistar plan in Lisle, Daily Herald, "The director of a recently opened autism school in Lisle said Monday the organization was "betrayed and deceived" by the village when they spent nearly $10 million to move into town, only to be told less than a month after opening that a new diesel engine testing site may open nearby."
  • 12/07/2009, Semi carrying medical waste rolls near Las Vegas, Merced Sun Star, AP  "He says area schools were briefly locked down until it was determined the material being hauled wasn't toxic."
  • 12/07/2009, Green Brook school's summer of woe concludes, mycentraljersey.com, "Just before the first day of school, mold was discovered in several classrooms of the school's older rear wing. Apparently, the air conditioning dampers had shut down in midsummer, leaving a high humidity condition conducive to the growth of mold in the classrooms."
  • 12/06/2009, State will test air downwind from Superior Essex plant, thetennessean.com, "No exact cause of the odors has been found, though state inspectors are now requiring that the company further modify its equipment inside the factory."
  • 12/04/2009, Critics plan protest of Navistar move to Lisle, Chicago Tribune, "School officials and parents have been critical of the truck and engine manufacturer's plans to house a diesel engine testing site at the location, saying its fumes will be harmful to the more than 60 students at Giant Steps."
  • 12/03/2009, Two Williamson elementary schools to have air tested for chemicals, Tennessean.com, "State environmental crews will test the air at two Williamson County schools to determine whether students are being exposed to airborne chemicals coming from a Franklin wire-making plant."
  • 12/02/2009, Springfield siblings arrested for setting off chemical 'bomb' outside Milton Bradley Elementary School, The Republican, "Leger said the bottle bombs are dangerous because the chemical mixture could cause chemical burns if a passerby was splashed on the skin."
  • 12/01/2009, Pollution notification bill OK'd by Assembly panelNewJersey.com, "The bill's sponsors said the legislation was drafted as a response to the way officials handled the discovery of contaminated soil at West Brook Middle School in Paramus in early 2007."


November 2009
  • 11/29/2009, Union Workers Alleged Use of Contaminated Materials Before DOE Plant Buried in Portsmouth, Ohio, Huntington News, "Other Cabell County Schools in the First (Worst) Percentile included Alternative Education High/Middle School (old HEHS), Altizer Elementary, Beverly Hills Middle School, Enslow Middle School, Highlawn Elementary School, Hite Saunders Elementary, Meadows Elementary, and Spring Hill Elementary."
  • 11/29/2009, Plastics plant sued over shuttered school west of Cincinnati, The Columbus Dispatch ," A plastics plant continues to release chemicals into the air that exceed government safety standards, a school district said in a lawsuit filed in state court."
  • 11/29/2009, How Schools Huge Mercury Cleanup unfolded, The Arizona Republic, "Over the next seven hours on Feb. 12, the boys poured out more mercury to show their friends, including some in the boys locker room and a reading classroom. . .Police discovered that since 2007 teachers had warned district administrators multiple times, verbally and through e-mails, about hazardous materials in the school."
  • 11/27/2009, Three Rivers sues over pollution, nky.com, "ADDYSTON - Four years ago, the 370-student elementary school here was evacuated because of air pollution. It never reopened."
  • 11/27/2009, Chemical spill shuts Fundy High, Telegraph Journal, "A shelf in the chemistry laboratory closet broke over night, MacDougall said. A bottle containing an unidentified chemical fell on the floor and broke, allowing fumes to permeate the building."
  • 11/25/2009, Agricultural Pesticide Use Causes Concerns at California Schools, WireWeb, "Pesticide use in agricultural areas near schools could be exposing students and staff to dangerous chemicals."
  • 11/25/2009, Why there are BIG cancer concerns in 1 Arizona community, ABC15, "At Mingus High School in Cottonwood, students and staff drink from their own well. 'It's a safety issue,' said Kirk Waddle, the district finance director. 'I wouldn't want my students at risk.'"
  • 11/24/2009, Taylor Co. school needs millions to fix mold, mildew problems, WHAS11, Kentucky, "Kim Lawson claims Taylor County Elementary School knew about health hazards to students for years. And says their former superintendent did nothing about it."
  • 11/21/2009, Vo-tech instructors allege they were never told of asbestos in home students were remodeling, lihighvalleylive.com, "Vo-tech masonry instructor Heath Bullard claimed he was never told about the presence of asbestos in the home he, other teachers and a score of students were remodeling."
  • 11/21/2009, Solution In Sight For Odor In Hanover Township, KDKA Pittsburgh, "A neighborhood in Hanover Township has been gagging on the foul smell of hydrogen sulfide - a gas that is known to cause serious health problems."
  • 11/20/2009, Sewer line switch raises stink, causes school closing, Muskegon News, "School officials determined sewer odors were too foul inside the vocational career center for high school students and shut down around 9:30 a.m. Friday."
  • 11/20/2009, TSC investigating science lab fire at Wainwright, Indiana Journal and Courier, "One teen burned during a science experiment Wednesday remained hospitalized in Indianapolis in critical condition Thursday."
  • 11/20/2009, J. T. Lambert closed for week after water main break, Pocono Record, "...our-inch plastic pipe in the ceiling near a closet burst where it intersected with a valve. The pipe, which can transmit 80 gallons per minute, breached because of a sudden change in pressure..."
  • 11/19/2009, Parents ask for mercury answers, Times Georgian,  "the mother of two daughters at the school, was disappointed that the school did not notify parents about the mercury."
  • 11/19/2009, Suit: Workers students exposed to potential toxins at Paramus school, North Jersey.com, "alleges that the district put its employees, students and visitors at risk of developing potentially life-threatening illnesses by waiting at least four months to inform them that pesticide-laden soil had been discovered on school grounds."
  • 11/19/2009, Proposed school near gas well concerns Forth Worth neighborsWFAA-TV, "...a proposed elementary school would be right across the street from an already-approved drilling site..."
  • 11/19/2009, Califon mulls environmental clean-up at school, Gilmartin property, Hunterdon Review, "Quest Environmental and Engineering Services of Clinton has advised the Borough Council about remediation plans to clean up environmental pollution at Califon School and also at the Gilmartin property located at 75 Main St.."
  • 11/18/2009, Lewis Yard School dismissed again, The Tribune,"Classes were dismissed on Monday when a number of persons at the school became ill, reportedly as a result of fumes from the nearby industrial area."
  • 11/18/2009, GB School Remains Closed, The Bahama Journal, "Teachers and students reportedly fell ill on Monday after inhaling the odor, according to officials."
  • 11/18/2009, Study: Portable Classrooms Noisy, Pose Health Risks to Children, FoxNews, "The dust showed traces of pesticides, arsenic and mold, while the air contained formaldehyde fumes, heavy metals and higher than normal concentrations of pollen and carbon dioxide."
  • 11/17/2009, After two years, Roselle finally demolishes playground, NewJersey.com, "Two years ago, an insurance company that covers Roselle schools recommended that the playground at Harrison Elementary be torn down, because it represented a danger to students."
  • 11/17/2009, Decisive victory for High School project at polls; Town Meeting next, Wayland Town Crier, "At the forum, Anderson said some of the troubling issues at the current 50-year-old buildings are air quality, asbestos, mold, leaky roofs and poor lighting."
  • 11/17/2009, Fire closes Augusta Twp. high school, Detroit News, "A hazardous materials team responded to the reports of a fire because it was in the science room, where chemicals were present, school district officials said."
  • 11/17/2009, Mercury discovered at Temple gymnasium,Times-Georgian, "Temple High School’s gymnasium has been closed to students and the public since Oct. 17, after mercury was discovered in the original rubber flooring under the wooden gym floor."
  • 11/14/2009, Parents of asthmatic student seek fragrance ban, The Herald Mail, Maryland, "The parents of a Smithsburg High School student with asthma are trying to convince Washington County Public Schools officials to ban the use of fragrances systemwide."
  • 11/14/2009, School district fires Head Start director, The Galveston County Daily News, HITCHCOCK, "[Doreatha] Walker has filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against the district, claiming the officials want to get rid of her because she lodged complaints with the state . . . Walker clashed with district administrators throughout the past year. She reported in November 2008 that mold in the building, 5700 FM 2004, was making her sick."
  • 11/13/2009, Pine Tree High School briefly evacuated for gas leak, News-Journal, "The cause was a faulty gas regulator at one of the buildings."
  • 11/13/2009, Gas smell disrupts Waipahu school day, Honolulu Star Bulletin, "Three ambulances were sent to the school after 11 a.m. The patients included two students under the age of 13 and five adults,"
  • 11/12/2009 Niagara County can't tolerate more toxic waste, The Buffalo News, Opinion "It is clearly in the public interest that no more toxic wastes be brought here. Children’s cancer rates are higher than expected in the area that includes the nearby schools to CWM"
  • 11/12/2009  District: Test shows contamination at two schools, but no threat, Tampa Bay Online, "TAMPA - Recent tests conducted at two Hillsborough County schools have revealed higher-than-acceptable levels of arsenic, mercury, lead and other toxic contaminants in the soil, the district says."
  • 11/11/2009 Pesticide drift poses a problem, health-wise and politically, The Californian, "The Californian's weekend article "Schools and Pesticides" points to many problems related to the dangers of pesticide applications close to schools and our communities."
  • 11/12/2009, Lafarge plant health risk under study, Times Union, "Located on Route 9W across from Ravena's junior and senior high schools, the plant is the state's second-largest source of airborne mercury, a potent neurotoxin dangerous to developing fetuses and pregnant women"


October 2009
September 2009