North Tonawanda High School students say headaches brought on by bad smell

Local News

For the past several days, students at North Tonawanda High School have come home with headaches.  

Many parents told News 4 they are keeping their kids home from school so they do not get sick. 

Superintendent Gregory Woytila told News 4 the school uses a product called propylene glycol which leaked out of the school’s heating system pipes. 

The product got into the sewer drains and released the bad smell.  As of today, parents contacted News 4 with complaints their kids have headaches from being in the building.

Woytila has released the following statement on the district’s Facebook page.  

The High School’s heating system uses a substance called Inhibited Propylene Glycol. While the school is required to use all green products, and Propylene Glycol is a green product, that does not mean all green products are all smell-free.

Currently, due to a leak in the heating system pipes in the basement, some Glycol got into the sewer drains, causing an unpleasant order. The leak has been contained and is being repaired. Both experts from BOCES and Stohl Environmental are monitoring the air quality with the district.

The district is prepared to close the school if it is unsafe and not reopen until corrected. We will monitor this all evening to ensure it stays that way and gets eliminated as soon as possible.

– Superintendent Gregory Woytila, North Tonawanda City Schools

Despite this, dozens of parents commented the smell is lingering and students are coming home with headaches. Students sent News 4 these photos of green liquid in the school toilets. 

Niagara County’s Public Health Engineer checked out the school on Thursday. 

The county found the leak reparied by a school contractor and said the odor is a nuisance but not toxic. 

The superintendent said they plan to replace a large section of the system this weekend to try to make sure the smell doesnt happen again. 

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