School officials in Malibu, California, have launched an investigation into complaints that teachers' recent cancer diagnoses and other health problems may have been brought on by toxins on campus.
Twenty-one teachers at Malibu High School voiced concerns that their "health has been adversely effected [sic] as a result of working in our particular buildings," according to a letter addressed to Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District's risk management specialist Gary Bradbury.
Three teachers at the school, which includes grades six through 12, have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer within the last six months, the letter said, and another teacher has bladder cancer.
In addition, the staff members list migraines, skin rashes, unexplained hair loss and respiratory problems as some of the medical conditions plaguing the staff over the past five years, the letter from the teachers said.
The complaints came after the district hired a contractor to remove soil from the middle school quad in 2010. The soil contained carcinogenic PCBs, lead and other pesticides.
The teachers are demanding the district have each of their classrooms and the school's theater tested for mold and asbestos, among other toxins, the letter said. They also want the school to test the soil outside and underneath the buildings they work in.