Air Quality Concerns Shut Down Clark School in Hartford

Concerns about air quality after tests revealed low levels of PCBs at the John C. Clark, Jr. Elementary and Middle School in Hartford has prompted class cancellations on Thursday and Friday, according to officials with the Hartford school system.

Supt. Beth Schiavino-Narvaez said in a letter to parents dated Jan. 7 that students will likely also be relocated from the facility at 75 Clark Street while maintenance crews work to fix the issue.

"Testing done in preparation for the installation of a new sprinkler system at Clark school revealed results that raised concerns about the air quality," Schiavino-Narvaez wrote in the letter. "Additional air samplings and treatments that were conducted to address the issue have not returned the results we were expecting, so we are conducting further testing to determine the source of the problem."

A spokesperson for Hartford Public Schools said tests revealed low levels of PCBs, which are known to "cause a variety of adverse health effects" and have been proven to cause cancer in animals, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Schiavino-Narvaez said the school system will keep parents apprised as the situation unfolds.

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