September 22, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Citizen’s Lawsuit Alleges PCB Contamination In Malibu Classrooms:

A citizen’s lawsuit filed today accuses Malibu school officials of violating the federal Toxic Substances Control Act by failing to decontaminate the city’s combined elementary, middle and high school campuses of allegedly illegal levels of cancer-causing chemicals embedded in caulk and other building materials.

The suit, lodged in Los Angeles federal court, seeks immediate removal of materials identified as containing toxic polychlorinated biphenyls — PCBs — in concentrations above those allowed by law. The plaintiffs are also seeking expedited PCB testing of all school facilities.

Gail Pinsker, a Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District spokeswoman, said she had not yet seen the lawsuit, and, in any case, could not comment on pending litigation.

The suit was filed by America Unites for Kids, representing parents and other concerned Malibu residents, and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, on behalf of Concerned Malibu/Cabrillo Teachers, a group of 30 teachers and staff at the Malibu schools.

The complaint names all members of the district’s board of education, its superintendent, associate superintendent and chief financial officer.

The suit alleges that since October 2013, when a group of 20 teachers jointly complained of health problems, including thyroid cancers they believed were linked to contaminated classrooms, the district has avoided a comprehensive source testing of the campuses.

Instead of immediately addressing PCBs allegedly embedded in building materials, the district has scheduled work to begin in late June, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit alleges that independent tests beginning last July have identified levels of PCBs in caulk up to 7,000 times the legal limit.

The district spurned an offer by model Cindy Crawford, a Malibu parent who has since removed her children from the public schools, to personally pay for comprehensive source testing, according to the suit.

“The district had ample notice and more than ample opportunity to avoid litigation but has not moved a step toward complying with the law to insure safety for students and teachers,” said PEER Senior Counsel Paula Dinerstein. “Across the country, we see school districts faced with similar conditions opt for immediate and complete removal but, by comparison, Malibu school officials seem stuck in the sand.”

Teachers who expressed concern about working in classrooms where illegal levels of PCBs have been identified have been threatened with termination, the complaint alleges.

“For almost two school years, our district leadership has blatantly disregarded the law and put our kids and teachers at unnecessary risk,” said Jennifer deNicola, president of America Unites for Kids.

“No amount of cleaning with wet rags can remove PCBs and guarantee no exposure for our children and teachers, she said. “The law is the law, and the Toxic Substances Control Act requires removal of any PCBs above 50 parts-per- million — that is the remedy we demand.”

in Health
Related Posts

COVID-19 Could Have Been in Area as Early as Last December

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

UCLA study reports significant increase in coughs and acute respiratory failure prior to first official cases of COVID-19 By Sam...

County Walks Back Trick or Treating Ban

September 9, 2020

September 9, 2020

Department of Public Health now says trick or treating not recommended By Sam Catanzaro County health officials have walked back...

Trick nor Treat: LA County Bans Door to Door Trick or Treating

September 9, 2020

September 9, 2020

Update: the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has revised its Halloween guidelines. Previously, as reported below, officials planned...

Edify TV: LA County Salons Given Green Light

September 8, 2020

September 8, 2020

Barbershops and hair salons in Los Angeles County have been given the green light to reopen with restrictions in place...

UCLA Searching for COVID-19 Vaccine Volunteers

September 8, 2020

September 8, 2020

Editor’s note: this AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 trial is on temporary hold while the company looks into whether a patient involved in...

Ahead of Labor Day County Warns COVID-19 Progress Could Be Hampered

September 1, 2020

September 1, 2020

Seven-day positivity rate currently below 5 percent By Sam Catanzaro Despite optimism regarding COVID-19 transmission rates, ahead of Labor Day...

New Santa Monica Senior Affordable Housing

September 1, 2020

September 1, 2020

Greenway Meadows development nears completion A new development near completion in Santa Monica will provide 38 apartments to low-income seniors...

Montalvo on Montana’s ‘Boos Boos LA’ Cotton Masks

September 1, 2020

September 1, 2020

By Staff Writer In light of the growing need for personal protection equipment, a local company is getting creative with...

County Can ‘Think About’ Reopening Schools, Businesses if Transmission Rates Hold

August 25, 2020

August 25, 2020

Community spread still needs to decrease, officials say By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County’s head of public health noted at...

My Dog Day of Summer

August 24, 2020

August 24, 2020

I usually don’t sweat the news about temperatures.  I live on the Westside, close to the Pacific Ocean, and it...

Column: How to Play it Safe to Prevent Deadly Heat Exhaustion

August 24, 2020

August 24, 2020

By Shawn McCann  As the Southland region broils in a summer heatwave, the coronavirus pandemic has created additional concern for...

Conscious Human Medicine Helping Santa Monica Residents Reverse Chronic Disease and Boost Health

August 20, 2020

August 20, 2020

By Staff Writer When co-founders Dr. Mahboubeh Hashemi and Dr. Matthew Cavaiola started their practice, Conscious Human Medicine, they had...

LAUSD Announces Plans to Test and Contact Trace All Students and Staff

August 18, 2020

August 18, 2020

By Chad Winthrop The nation’s second-largest public school system will provide COVID-19 tests and contact tracing for all Los Angeles...

County Surpasses Somber Milestone of 5,000 COVID-19 Deaths

August 11, 2020

August 11, 2020

Hospitalizations continue to decline By Sam Catanzaro L.A. County reached a somber milestone Tuesday of over 5,000 COVID- 19 deaths....

Santa Monica Doctor Catches Heat for His Appearance in Censored Coronavirus Video

August 10, 2020

August 10, 2020

By Toi Creel A Santa Monica pediatrician is raising some eyebrows about his speculations made in a censored social media...