2010-01-22 / Community

Work Begins On BCHS Windows

By Howard Schwach

Beach Channel High School is wrapped up like a cocoon due to toxic material in the building’s window frames. Beach Channel High School is wrapped up like a cocoon due to toxic material in the building’s window frames. Work has begun to remediate the toxic window frames at Beach Channel High School, a Department of Education spokesperson has revealed.

Those passing the school at Beach 100 Street and Beach Channel Drive will notice that it is wrapped in plastic sheathing like some sort of massive cocoon. Beach Channel High School is one of 20 schools in Queens and 80 citywide where the Department of Education has found traces of toxic caulk on many of the classroom windows.

Before the 1970s, caulk containing toxic PCBs was used regularly in school windows to cushion window and door frames to make them more elastic, according to a spokesperson for the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI). Although the use of the toxic material, which has been proved to cause cancer in rats, was banned in 1979, it was used extensively in schools that were built in that era and is still used in some products such as oilbased paint and floor finishes.

The toxin has been known to impact the immune, nervous and reproductive systems in humans.

The DOE says that it is unsure of the project’s completion date.

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