NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – About 700 New York City Schools have been contaminated with PCBs, and today elected officials called for the Department of Education to shorten its cleanup timetable.

They also sounded a warning about the effect on women – both young and old.

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WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman On The Story

“ABCs not PCBs” was the cry on the steps of City Hall on Monday.

“They cause abnormal menstrual cycle. They cause infertility,” said Dr. David Carpenter with the SUNY Albany Institute for Health and the Environment. “The majority of teachers in New York City public schools are women of reproductive age.”

He added that of women exposed to PCBs will suffer from reduced IQ.

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More than a dozen elected officials including, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, called on the Department of Education to shorten its 10 year timeframe to get rid of those poisonous light fixtures.

“It might cause $700 million or even a billion dollars. Two comments: One, so what? The lives of our kids and teachers are worth more than a billion dollars. Number two, we don’t believe that figure,” said Nadler.

“There’s a teacher in one of the schools in my district. She found out she was pregnant. She quit her job because she said ‘I am not going to risk my unborn child’,” said Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal.

“Ten more years of poisoning our children and our teachers are not acceptable,” said Nadler.

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Have you been sickened by PCBs? Share your story in the comments section below!