"The US Environmental Protection Agency is recommending that owners of older buildings – including schools – test brittle, aging masonry and window caulking for high levels of likely cancer-causing chemicals.
The recommendations are targeted at thousands of buildings constructed or renovated between 1950 and 1978, when polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, were banned. Several Massachusetts schools and colleges have recently found high levels of PCBs in caulking.
The federal agency said the danger to schoolchildren is unknown but “we’re concerned about the potential risks associated with exposure to these PCBs and we’re recommending practical, common sense steps to reduce this exposure as we improve our understanding of the science,’’ said EPA administrator Lisa. P. Jackson."