What to Know
- Long Island secondary school is relocating Thursday due to environmental health concerns
- Students in the Northport Middle School will transfer to four other schools in the area just as the state health department expands its cancer investigation to the whole area.
- The investigation commenced in March 2019 when it was reported that some of the students in the 2016 Northport Conservatory class had been cancerous.
As students in Long Island secondary school relocate their classes to nearby schools about health concerns, New York State Health Department says that she has extended her cancer investigation to the whole school area.
North Middle Middle School will have children learning in other schools Thursday as officials further test soil, steam, indoor air quality, sanitation and storm water after elevated levels of benzene (potentially dangerous chemicals) found in soil samples from two different septic systems on the south and east side of the school, according to Robert Banzer’s district district superintendent.
Students from the eighth grade to Northport High School will be relocated, students from the seventh grade to Northport East Middle School, and sixth graders will relocate to Norwood Avenue Elementary or Bellerose Avenue Elementary Elementary.
Meanwhile, state health officials said Wednesday, following a report on cancer cases that occurred in the 2016 Northport High School class, the health department will now look at the cancer rate among children and adults in the whole school area. .
“The investigation will include all types of cancer among all ages, with a focus on young people and young adults,” said department spokesman Erin Silk. “It will review whether there are cancer elevations among residents of the school area as a whole, in certain geographical areas within the school area, in specific timeframes, or within specific age groups.”
Silk said that the investigation began in March 2019 when it was reported that some of the students diagnosed were mainly leukemia.
It is unclear how many students from the Northport High School class had cancer, but Silk said it was less than six.
For years, residents in the area reported health issues from unexplained rashes to asthma.
Patch reported last week that parents of the secondary school ran “sick” after the school area found high levels of mercury on the school grounds.
Banzer said in a letter to the parents that a preliminary air test did not show “detectable compounds” of volatile organic compounds.
“However, in the interests of our students and staff and considering ongoing testing and reform, the building will be closed for the balance of the school year,” said the superintendent.