Seattle Public Schools, Seattle, Washington
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Seattle Public Schools, Seattle, Washington

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    In response to a request from the State of Washington Division of Health Services, an investigation was made of possible polychlorinated-biphenyl (1336363) (PCB) contamination at the Catherine Blaine School (SIC-8211), Seattle, Washington. In October of 1984 ballast burnouts had occurred in three classrooms at the school, resulting in high concentrations of PCBs in the air and on surfaces in these rooms. PCB concentrations ranged from 0.19 to 2.4 micrograms/100 square centimeters (microg/100cm2) in surface samples taken in the three Blaine School classrooms. Concentrations ranged from 0.25 to 1.2microg/100cm2 in classrooms without reported incidents of ballast burnout. Air samples in the three classrooms showed PCB concentrations ranging from 0.8 to 1.2micrograms/cubic meter (microg/m3). In two other schools, Ingraham and Bryant, where burnout incidents had been reported, PCBs were not detected in 11 surface samples taken from rooms which had burnouts nor in eight samples where burnouts had not occurred. In a third school, Seward, where burnouts occurred, PCBs were detected in a range of less than PCB concentrations on surfaces coming into contact with the skin were generally nondetectable. The author concludes that the contamination does not present an immediate health risk to students or faculty. Recommendations are offered for the proper cleanup procedure to follow when a PCB containing ballast fails. NIOSHTIC No 00178066
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