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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 53, Staten Island, New York

More Information

EPA's PCBs homepage.

Guidance on PCB-Containing Fluorescent Light Ballasts

On Saturday, January 8, 2011, EPA conducted an inspection at PS 53 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 each space where samples were taken, EPA found one or more results that were above 50 parts per million.  Twenty two of the total of 33 samples taken showed results above the regulatory limit.

The City of New York began removing the lighting fixtures that EPA sampled while inspectors were still at the school.  

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 53 Staten Island
January 8, 2011 Sampling Results

Location

Fixture No.

Sample location

Sample Results  mg/kg (PPM)

PCB Aroclor

Old/New Ballast

Ballast leaking

Description of Material

Room 220

1

Tray

400  J*

1262

Old

No

Oil Stain

Room 220

2

Ballast

U **

 

Old

Yes

Tar Buildup 

Room 208A

1

Tray

72

1254

New

No

Large Tar Globule

Room 208A

1

Tray

260,000

1254

New

No

Small Tar Globule

Room 206

1

Tray

51  J*

1248

New

No

Small Tar Globule

Room 206

4

Tray

 26  J*

1242

Old

Yes

Tar Globule

Room 206

4

Ballast

9.0  J*

1254

Old

Yes

Oozing Tar

Room 205

2

Ballast

U** 

 

Old

Yes

Tar Buildup 

Room 205

2

Tray

U ** 

 

Old

Yes

Small Tar Globule

Room 205

3

Ballast

86

1262

Old

Yes

Tar Buildup 

Room 205

3

Tray

180

1262

Old

Yes

Small Tar Globules

Room 201

2

Tray

U** 

 

New

No

Small Tar Globule

Room 201

3

Ballast

U** 

 

Old

Yes

Tar Buildup 

Room 201

3

Tray

54

1242

Old

Yes

Small Tar Globules

Room 201

4

Ballast

210

1254

Old

Yes

Oozing Tar

Room 201

4

Ballast

130

1262

Old

Yes

Oozing Tar

Room 201

4

Tray

570

1254

Old

Yes

Small Tar Globules

Room 201

4

Tray

280

1262

Old

Yes

Small Tar Globules

Room 202

1

Ballast

 27  J*

1254

Old

Yes

Oozing Tar

Room 202

1

Ballast

26  J*

1262

Old

Yes

Oozing Tar

Room 202

1

Tray

7.2  J*

1242

Old

Yes

Pile of Tar Globules

Room 202

1

Tray

25  J*

1254

Old

Yes

Pile of Tar Globules

Room 202

1

Tray

17  J*

1262

Old

Yes

Pile of Tar Globules

Room 202

2

Ballast

240

1262

Old

Yes

Small Tar Bubble

Room 302

2

Tray

70

1248

New

No

Tar Globules

Room 302

3

Ballast

86

1254

Old

Yes

Oozing Tar

Room 302

3

Tray

630

1262

Old

Yes

Tar Globules

 

3rd Floor Hallway

1

Above Ballast

62

1260

New

No

Stain above Ballast

3rd Floor Hallway

1

Tray

49

1254

New

No

Large Pool of Tar

3rd Floor Hallway

2

Tray

100

1262

New

No

Small Oily Smear

Room 319 (Office)

4

Above Ballast

1200

1248

New

No

Stain above Ballast

Room 319 (Office)

4

Tray

1000

1254

New

No

Small Tar Globules

Room 320

1

Ballast

89

1248

Old

Yes

Oozing Tar

Room 320

1

Ballast

98

1254

Old

Yes

Oozing Tar

Room 320

1

Tray

180

1262

Old

Yes

Large Tar Globules

Room 320

2

Tray

240

1254

New

No

Large Tar Globule

Room 320

2

Tray

140

1262

New

No

Large Tar Globule

Room 329

1

Ballast

1500

1262

Old

Yes

Small Tar Bubble

Room 329

2

Ballast

U** 

 

Old

Yes

Small Tar Bubbles

Storage Area

1

Tray

67

1260

New

No

Oil Stain

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

 

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