Take Action

 

 

1. Contact exisiting environmental groups or even start your own advocacy group. An example of an environmental group that has dealt with PCB contaminaton are America Unites for Kids and NY Communities for Change.

 

2. Contact your school board, school adminstrators, custodial staff, teacher's union, parent teacher association members (PTA), Health and Safety Committee (which is mandated in New York), and all stakeholders about testing for PCB in caulking and PCB light fixtures if the school building was built between the 1930s and 1980.

 

3. Contact your legislative officials on the local, state and federal levels by phone and in writing, and tell them that you want legislation mandating testing for PCBs in schools. Your legislator will be more responsive to a chorus of voices.

 

4. Contact the chairperson and members in your state's Department of Education and Department of Environmental Conservation.

 

5. Contact your local newspaper, television and radio stations about this issue.

 

6. Inform your local construction unions and custodial unions about PCB in caulking and PCB light fixtures. PCBs are very persistent and may be more hazardous if incorrectly or carelessly handled. It is, therefore, essential that proper precautions are observed during handling, use and disposal. 
 

Under the law, custodians and maintenance people have the "right to know" if they are working with hazardous materials. Please be aware that some unions might resist testing because of the potential loss of jobs.

 

7 Always send hard copies of your request by fax or U.S. mail. If you send by email, remember that your legislators get so many emails that there is the possibility your email could get overlooked or deleted by accident. It is important to make follow-up calls to confirm that your representative received your fax, letter or email.

 

8. Take your own PCB sample. It is important to contact a lab that tests for PCBs and inquire as to the sample size and removal technique to be used prior to taking a sample.