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Hazardous Chemical Testing

Category Press Release
Publish Date 2/15/2018
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Dozens of Washington Families File Lawsuit over PCBs in Schools
Introduction EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides testing and sampling supplies to identify polychlorinated biphenyls in schools, homes and commercial buildings.

Seattle, WA, February 15th, 2018

Last month, Washington’s K5 News reported about dozens of families that have filed a lawsuit against the state, a local school district and a chemical manufacturing company due to what the plaintiffs claim are toxic classrooms that have negatively impacted their health.

The main culprit in the lawsuit revolves around the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls, more commonly referred to as PCBs. According to the story, students and teachers were exposed to PCBs that were found in the light ballasts and caulking in school buildings in the city of Monroe, Washington. 

Issues associated with exposure risks to PCBs in the nation’s schools are an all too familiar story even though their production in the United States was halted in the late 1970s. Numerous buildings, including schools, still contain materials such as paints, mastics, sealants, caulks, adhesives, specialty coatings and fluorescent light ballasts with the hazardous chemicals. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has even provided guidance to school administrators and building managers with information specifically about PCBs in caulking materials.

“The EPA recommends that schools test for PCBs in peeling, brittle, cracking or deteriorating caulk because these toxic chemicals can persist in old building materials and contaminate surfaces, dust, soil and the indoor air quality as they degrade,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Eliminating exposure risks is important because studies have shown that PCBs cause cancer in animals and have non-cancer effects on the immune system, reproductive system and endocrine system.”

To help identify and prevent exposure hazards associated with PCBs and other toxic substances, EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers air, wipe and bulk material testing services.  EMSL has even created an educational video about PCBs that can be seen at:

To learn more about PCB testing in soil, paint, caulk, air, dust or other materials, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 43 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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