Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A Los Angeles federal judge Tuesday took under submission a citizen lawsuit over toxic chemicals found at Malibu schools.

The Malibu-based parents and teachers group America Unites for Kids and Washington, D.C.-based Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility sued the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, alleging the district is violating federal law by using construction materials containing polychlorinated biphenyls — PCBs.

After a 10-minute hearing, U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson said he would issue a written ruling or hold a July 11 hearing if needed.

PCBs were found in Malibu schools more than 2 1/2 years ago when the district tested window caulking after three teachers were diagnosed with thyroid cancer within months of one another.

The suit seeks no monetary damages — only an order to remove the chemical.

A citizen suit is a lawsuit brought by private citizens to enforce a statue when enforcement agencies do not.

PCBs were commonly used in construction materials until they were banned by the federal government in 1976.

“We want parents to be armed with the facts to make sure they understand the deadly risk of PCBs and are able to protect their children,” said Malibu parent Jennifer deNicola, president of America Unites for Kids.

“Everyone claims they don’t want to put kids at risk, yet what happened in Flint is what’s happening in our schools: kids are being poisoned because government officials are unwilling to do their jobs,” she said.

The school district has countered that it is safe to leave the PCBs in place and that it can protect students and teachers by wiping the surfaces with wet rags until future renovations.

— Wire reports 

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