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Region 2

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

EPA Inspection for PCB-containing lighting ballasts
PS 206, PS 37 and PS 112 in Manhattan, New York
Twelve of Fourteen Samples Above Regulatory Limit

More Information

EPA's PCBs homepage.

Guidance on PCB-Containing Fluorescent Light Ballasts

On Saturday, February 5, 2011, EPA conducted an inspection at PS 206, PS 37 and PS 112, which are housed in the same building, 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.

A total of fourteen samples were taken from the three schools: ten from PS 206; one from PS 37; and three from PS 112.  Twelve out of the total fourteen samples taken showed results above the regulatory limit: nine from PS 206; one from PS 37; and two from PS 112.  Samples were taken from a total of nine classrooms, eight of which had one or more samples above the regulatory limit: five rooms in PS 206; one room in PS 37; and two rooms in PS 112.

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 206, 37 and 112
February 5, 2011 Sampling Results

Location

Fixture No.

Sample location

Sample Results  mg/kg (PPM)

PCB Aroclor

Old/New Ballast

Ballast leaking

Description of Material

PS206 Room 146

1

Ballast

6200

1262

Old

Yes

Oil Dimple

PS206 Room 148

1

Ballast

590

1260

Old

Yes

Active Leak

PS206 Room 148

1

Tray

5500

1260

Tar-like Drops

PS206 Room 148

2

Ballast

U**

Old

Yes

Active Leak

PS206 Room 148

2

Tray

150

1242

Tar-like Drops

PS206     Room 246

1

Ballast

530

1260

Old

Yes

Oil Smear

PS206 Room 246

2

Ballast

95

1260

Old

Yes

Tar Bubble

PS206 Room 237

1

Ballast

7600

1260

Old

Yes

Oil Smear

PS206 Room 333

1

Ballast

510

1260

Old

Yes

Oil Dimple

PS206 Room 333

2

Ballast

1000

1260

Old

Yes

Dried Tar

PS37 Room 422

2

Ballast

3200

1260

Old

Yes

Oil Seepage

PS112 Room 124

1

Ballast

130

1260

Old

Yes

Active Leak

PS112 Room 105

1

Ballast

200

1260

Old

Yes

Active Leak

PS112 Room 309

1

Ballast

18 J*

1260

Old

Yes

Brittle Tar-like Material

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

 

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