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Letter Concerning PCB Lighting

posted Nov 13, 2014, 5:35 AM by Neil McNeill

November 13, 2014


Dear School Community:


New York City has undertaken a comprehensive plan to replace fluorescent lighting fixtures containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in public schools. PCBs were used in buildings across the country between 1950 and 1978. I am sending this letter to inform you that our school building has been identified as having lighting fixtures which are likely to contain PCBs and will therefore be replaced.


The DOE will complete all lighting fixture replacements by December 31, 2016. Fixture replacement for our building is estimated to begin in calendar year 2016. A project schedule will be provided prior to the commencement of work at our school. This work will take place outside of school hours, to minimize disruption to students and staff, and will increase the energy efficiency and environmental quality of school buildings.


While we understand concerns regarding the presence of materials containing PCBs in the school building, the City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) has advised that, based on a pilot study of DOE schools, there is no immediate health concern and that health effects from long term exposure to the air in school buildings are unlikely to occur at the PCB levels seen in the NYC schools. Please visit for more information on PCBs and to address any questions about health concerns.


The DOE is actively working to address this issue and will keep us apprised as work progresses in our building.  You may visit the DOE’s website to view regularly updated lists of buildings where work is currently underway or has been completed, as well as additional information related to the Department’s plan: (in English only).





Neil J. McNeill, Jr.