Written by Christy Hinko Friday, 29 October 2010 00:00
On Thursday, Oct. 21 two students from Island Trees Memorial Middle School in Levittown were transported to an area hospital with complaints of difficulty breathing after participating in physical education activities. One of the students has a known asthma condition.
Upon hearing the call for a second ambulance, the Levittown Fire Department suggested further investigation at the school to rule out any environmental factors. The school was evacuated at approximately 10:30 a.m.
Levittown Fire Chief Charles Guidice suggested the polyurethane from the gymnasium floors to be the cause of the breathing problems.
Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy said eight rooms throughout the school were refinished in August. Without prior incident, thousands of people have been in the same gymnasium that was reportedly causing difficulty breathing, including the physical education teachers who are in there daily.
The test for toxic fumes was inconclusive and students were admitted back into the school at 2 p.m.
To ensure the safety of the schools, the Island Trees School District called independent environmental consultant J.C. Broderick & Associates, Inc, of Hauppauge on Saturday, Oct. 23 to conduct an independent sampling for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and to test the air quality within the gymnasium, locker rooms, nearby office rooms and other surrounding areas. All tests returned with negative results; there were no detectable concentrations of toxins in any of the tests performed.
All rooms with floors refinished in August have been cleared as safe and all classes have resumed as normal. At the time of this story the Levittown Tribune was unable to retrieve a follow-up statement from the Levittown Fire Department.