Westport files lawsuit over PCBs found in school

WESTPORT, Mass. (WPRI) — The town of Westport and its school department are suing a St. Louis-based manufacturer over chemicals found in Westport Middle School.

The lawsuit against Monsanto Company and its corporate successors was filed in an effort to recover the cost to remove the polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.

Lawyers for the town said materials containing PCBs were widely used for window and door caulking and light ballasts in buildings constructed from the early 1950s to the late 1970s. In May of 2011, levels of the chemicals that far exceeded EPA safety standards were found in the town’s middle school, which was completed in 1969.

The chemicals can be released into the air and cause significant toxic effects on the immune, nervous, reproductive, and endocrine systems of anyone that comes into regular contact with them, according to the lawyers.

The town claims Monsanto had knowledge of the dangers of their product but failed to issue warnings.

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