School in shadow of Brookhaven landfill opens amid health concerns
It was the first day of classes at Frank P. Long Intermediate School in Bellport Tuesday – worrying some parents, teachers and students about possible health risks at the facility.
The school sits in the shadow of the Brookhaven Town Landfill, which many have blamed for ongoing health issues such as asthma, thyroid cancer and connective tissue disease in teachers.
Caroline Wilkinson says her 11-year-old son developed severe nausea during the last school year. Wilkinson was part of a push to have the building shut down.
"They're putting their lives at risk, and I think it's almost criminal," she says.
The district hired an outside company to test the school for toxins. The state Department of Health looked at the results and concluded the indoor air samples were "unremarkable."
Some parents say they don't buy it.
"They have to use common sense. If you see all these people getting sick, then you have to close down the school," says Wilkinson.
Suffolk County police officers were also outside the school as students made their way into the building. It was not immediately clear why they were there.
News 12 reached out to the school district for a comment, but they have not yet responded.