Environmentalist: Test shows cancer-causing chemicals in, around school

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BELLPORT -

Tests found dangerous chemicals in and around a Bellport school near the Brookhaven Town landfill, according to a local environmentalist.

Adrienne Esposito, the executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, says the study, performed by Enviroscience Consultants, found several chemicals that can cause cancer and neurological and breathing problems at the Frank P. Long Intermediate School. It measured levels of chemicals inside the school and on its grounds, including in some classrooms and the basement.

"Some of them are below standards," Esposito says. "Some are above standards. But there's about two dozen of them (the chemicals), and collectively, how does that impact the health of the students and the teachers?" 

Parents and teachers say a number of employees and students at the school have developed cancer, asthma and other illnesses.

Skye Dodge, a former student at the school, says she canceled a lot of after-school activities because of headaches that plagued her while she went there. Since moving on, she says, the problem has subsided.

Her mother and other parents and teachers say they worry that the Brookhaven landfill has been making people sick. 

"It should be closed down until they know it's safe enough for our children and faculty to come back," says Caroline Wilkinson, another parent at the school. She says her son has gotten sick repeatedly.

The district did not immediately respond to a News 12 request for comment.

The school board will meet Wednesday, and the testing company is expected to be there.

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