Education Association demands immediate removal of toxic floors
NPEA: Students’ and staff’s health and safety can no longer be compromised
WHO: North Plainfield Education Association members, statewide labor leaders, parents
WHAT: North Plainfield School District Mercury Flooring Town Hall meeting
WHERE: Virtual meeting via Zoom link below: https://zoom.us/j/94487143721?pwd=NTJTVng0ZUhTV2REdnI0UEV6WmMvZz09
WHEN: Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 6:30p.m.
NORTH PLAINFIELD-- The North Plainfield Education Association (NPEA) plans to turn out in force this Wednesday, May 13, at the District’s virtual mercury town hall meeting to urge the Board of Education to take immediate action. Since 2018, the NPEA has been fighting for the removal of mercury-laden gym floors in two district schools.
“Despite the NPEA's repeated requests and fierce advocacy, the North Plainfield Board of Education and administration have been dragging their feet on removing the mercury flooring,” said NPEA President Theresa Fuller. “For the last two years, there has been a pervasive and ongoing mismanagement of facilities and dodging of responsibility, with no clear plan on remediation of this proven danger. Enough is enough.”
The NPEA frustrations have merit. With the help of industrial hygienists from the Work Environment Council (WEC) and the New Jersey Education Association’s (NJEA) Healthy Schools Now network, the NPEA discovered the middle school gym floor had mercury levels high enough to require removal as hazardous waste. Mercury is a metal that exists in liquid and vapor form. Exposure to mercury, even small amounts, may cause serious health problems and is considered by the World Health Organization as one of the top ten chemicals or groups of chemicals of major public health concern.
“The bottom line is that there should be no mercury in schools,” Fuller continued. “North Plainfield students’ and staff’s health can no longer be compromised. The Board needs to remove the mercury flooring and make healthy schools their priority. Anything less would be unconscionable.”
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