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EPA Inspection for PCB-containing lighting ballasts
PS 68, Bronx, New York

More Information

EPA's PCBs homepage.

Guidance on PCB-Containing Fluorescent Light Ballasts

On Saturday, January 29, 2011, EPA conducted an inspection at PS 68 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 thirteen samples were taken from eleven rooms.  Ten samples showed results above the regulatory limit. In nine of the eleven rooms where samples were taken, EPA found one or more results that were 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.

Over the past several weeks, EPA has also released results from three other schools that it has inspected, PS 53 in Staten Island, PS 11 and PS 13/PS 358 in Brooklyn.  In each space where samples were taken in PS 53, 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.  In PS 11, 18 out of the total 28 samples taken showed results above the regulatory limit.  At PS 13/PS 358, EPA took a total of seven samples from five rooms and each showed results above the regulatory limit.

PS 68 Bronx
January 29, 2011 Sampling Results

Location

Fixture No.

Sample location

Sample Results  mg/kg (PPM)

PCB Aroclor

Old/New Ballast

Ballast leaking

Description of Material

Room 112

3

Ballast

34
68

1242  1254

Old

Yes

Oil Spot

Room 114

2

Ballast

U*

Old

Yes

Dried Tar

Room 109

2

Ballast

310

1016

Old

Yes

Oily Label

Room 109

3

Tray

U*

New

No

Dry Liquid Residue

Room 111

1

Ballast

35
670

1242 1260

Old

Yes

Oil Smear

Room 111

2

Tray

340
920

1248  1260

Old

Yes

Oil Pool

Room 211

1

Ballast

11
30

1242
1260

Old

Yes

Oil Drip

Room 208

1

Ballast

130

1260

Old

Yes

Dried Oil Drip

Room 206

1

Ballast

61

1242

Old

Yes

Dried Oil Drip

Room 306

1

Ballast

110

1242

Old

Yes

Oil Drips

Room 308

1

Ballast

86
260

1242 1262

Old

Yes

Oil Drips

Room 307

1

Ballast

320

1262

Old

Yes

Oil Film

Basement Storage

NA

Ballast

190

1242

Old

Y

Oil Seepage

*U = Non detect

 

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