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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cases of severe illness rise on school campus

A number of faculty at a Malibu, California high school have experienced a rash of unexplained illnesses the past six months. Three members have been diagnosed with stage 1 thyroid cancer, three more are struggling with other thyroid issues, while seven teachers are suffering from chronic migraines.

Additional teachers claim they have been treated for a myriad of other concerns, from unexplained hair loss to skin rashes to a variety of respiratory illnesses. No official cause or link has been identified, though investigations are continuing.

Old transformers still contain PCBs
With that noted, the stricken school staff believes they know the source, pointing the finger at a 2011 construction project on the campus. They assert that polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs] were released when over 1,000 yards of dirt was removed from the site, resulting in their illnesses.

PCB's are highly toxic coolant fluids, once used in transformers, capacitors, and electric motors. Banned in the United States [US] in 1979, soil-sample tests have concluded that PCBs are rife at multiple locations, thus the claims made by the ill faculty members have merit even if they do lack hard evidence connected to this event.

The localized nature of these illnesses has raised alarms amongst parents of the students as well, which has prompted administrators to relocate 11 classrooms of students to different schools. Despite this move, Authority in the area remains confident the explanation for this odd convergence of sickness lies elsewhere.

Researchers note that PCB's can be found anywhere, due to their rampant use pre-1979 and poor disposal procedures after the ban. They have been linked to a variety of ailments, including many of the conditions mentioned above. One expert flatly states that no matter where you are PCB's are unavoidable in the US, and when new ventures expose long-undisturbed soil the potential for cases similar to this will grow exponentially.

Photo Source: Sturmovik (Wikipedia)

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