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Serving New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Eight Tribal Nations.

EPA Inspection for PCB-containing lighting ballasts
PS 11, Brooklyn, New York

More Information

EPA's PCBs homepage.

Guidance on PCB-Containing Fluorescent Light Ballasts

On Saturday, January 15, 2011, EPA conducted an inspection at PS 11 to look at lighting ballasts that may contain PCBs and determine if they have leaked in the past or are currently leaking.  See below for a chart containing the results of samples taken during this inspection.

If a lighting ballast is leaking PCBs above a regulatory level of 50 parts per million, federal law requires the immediate removal and disposal of the ballast and disposal of any PCB-contaminated materials at an EPA-approved facility.

In nine of the eleven spaces where samples were taken, EPA found one or more results that were above 50 parts per million.  Eighteen out of the total twenty eight samples taken showed results above the regulatory limit.

EPA continues to strongly recommend that the City of New York develop a plan for assessing and addressing leaking ballasts in its schools city-wide.

These recommendations are consistent with EPA’s national guidance recommending that schools take steps to reduce potential exposures to PCBs from older fluorescent lighting fixtures.

PS 11 Brooklyn
January 15, 2011 Sampling Results

Location

Fixture No.

Sample location

Sample Results  mg/kg (PPM)

PCB Aroclor

Old/New Ballast

Ballast leaking

Description of Material

Room G10

2

Ballast

85

1260

Old

Yes

Black streaks

Room G10

2

tray

10 J*

1260

Old

Yes

Tar globules

Room G5

1

ballast

U**

Old

Yes

Oil on wires

Room G5

3

ballast

82

1254

Old

Yes

Tar buildup on ballast

Room G5

3

ballast

110

1260

Old

Yes

Wipe of ballast

Room G3

3

Ballast

140

1254

Old

Yes

Tar buildup

Room G3

3

tray

27 J*

1254

Old

Yes

Soft tar

Room 117

2

Above ballast

2,200

1262

New

No

Residue on fixture

Room 117

2

tray

18 J*
15 J*

1254
1260

New

No

Tar globules

Room 117

3

tray

830

1260

New

No

Oil on tray

Room 108

1

Above ballast

510

1262

New

No

Residue on fixture

Room 108

1

tray

46

1260

New

No

Pool of tar on tray

Room 108

2

Above ballast

87
28

1254
1260

New

No

Residue on fixture

Room 103

2

Above ballast

65

1260

New

No

Residue on fixture

Room 210

1

ballast

U **

Old

Yes

Oil sheen on ballast

Room 210

1

tray

U **

Old

Yes

Pool of oil on tray

Room 214

1

ballast

600

1262

Old

Yes

Oil sheen on ballast

Room 214

1

tray

1,400

1262

Old

Yes

Oil on tray

Room 214

2

Above ballast

 

3,800

 

1260

New

No

Residue on fixture

Room 214

2

tray

140

1260

New

No

Tar

Room 303

1

Above ballast

450

1262

New

No

Residue on fixture

Room 303

1

tray

1,000

1260

New

No

Residue on tray

Room 303

2

 ballast

160

1262

Old

Yes

Oil dimple on ballast

Room 306

2

ballast

18

1260

Old

Yes

Oil dimple on ballast

Room 314

1

ballast

22

1260

Old

Yes

Oil residue on ballast

Room 314

1

tray

34

1260

Old

Yes

Oil droplet

Room 314

2

Above ballast

51

1260

New

No

Residue on fixture

Room 314

2

tray

360

1260

New

No

Residue on tray

* J = Sample results qualified with "J" are estimates but can be used for decision-making.
** U = Non detect

 

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