TODAY

TODAY   |  October 10, 2013

Malibu school closes classrooms after health worries

Dozens of students were moved out of school buildings Wednesday at Malibu High School in California due to health concerns. Four members of the teaching staff have had cancer diagnoses in recent months, and others have been stricken with migraines and skin rashes. NBC’s Mike Taibbi reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> what some fear may be a cluster of diseases, including cancer connected to the high school and middle school campus. these health issues have affected about one-third of the staff there. good morning, mike.

>> reporter: good morning, natalie. right now, it's teachers, no students reporting a disturbing number of illnesses including thyroid cancer , the soil was once contaminated by pcps. like any parent, a thought about his kids.

>> it's not just one building. it's multiple buildings.

>> on wednesday, dozens of students were moved out of school buildings temporarily shut down, threetime teachers were dois nosed with thyroid cancer , some with hair losses, skin rashes, for years.

>> we don't know what we have or how we have.

>> reporter: pcbs used and banned in 1979 were found three years ago in several older buildings once treated with pesticides. after a soil removal program, aen environmental impact says there does not appear to be any hurt to health.

>> i wouldn't have any staff if we have any evidence. i wouldn't have kids here.

>> reporter: a letter requested each of our classrooms be tested for contaminants and did not use the term cancer cluster . a county health department note says in almost every case they are statistical anomalies. if you spin the roulette wheel enough times, it will land on red or black half a dozen times or so unlikely, statistically unsurprising if not inev tbl. as the movie "erin brock sich showed, there have been links between chemicals. here no proof or evidence yet, just questions.

>> they're concerned. they don't know, if where they are working is making them sick or not making them sick.

>> well the school district has hired an environmental consulting firm to take another look at the air, the water, the buildings, themselves and to have a report, at least a preliminary report ready within a week.