(FRANKLIN, Ind.) – High levels of two chlorine compounds in the air could close two Franklin elementary schools.
Needham and Webb Elementary Schools are on spring break right now anyway. But the school district has ordered more testing this weekend after 17 air samples came back with high levels of PCE and TCE vapor. The chemical used in solvents has been linked to cancer and liver problems.
Superintendent David Clendening says if the additional tests indicate the buildings aren’t safe, students will go somewhere else when classes resume April 1. He’s not going into detail, but says the district has contingency plans. The test results are expected at midweek.
Franklin parents have already been raising questions about whether there’s a connection between PCE and TCE, a now-closed automotive parts plant, and a suspicious series of children diagnosed with cancer. Enviro Forensics, which conducted the sampling, says the gases don’t appear to be connected to the plant. The company is reviewing where the vapor did come from.
The city of Franklin says it will conduct its own tests near sewer lines and manholes.
Franklin Community Schools Superintendent David Clendening (right) and Enviro Forensics president Jeff Carnahan discuss air sampling results. (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)