Schools across the United States need to check window and door caulking to see if it contains potentially cancer-causing PCBs, says the Environmental Protection Agency. If significant amounts of PCBs are found, the caulking should be removed.
Although an exact number isn't known, PCBs may be present in many schools that were built or renovated before the chemicals were banned in the late 1970s, said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, according to the Associated Press. The danger to students is uncertain.
"We're concerned about the potential risks associated with exposure to these PCBs, and we're recommending practical, common sense steps to reduce this exposure as we improve our understanding of the science," Jackson said in a news release.
The agency plans to conduct research into the link between PCBs in caulk and in the air and will conduct tests on PCBs in schools, the AP reported. The EPA has set up a PCBs-in-caulk hot line (1-888-835-5372) and Web site at www.epa.gov/pcbsincaulk.