Mayor Michael Bloomberg says PCB chemicals found in more than a dozen city public schools do not pose an imminent danger.
Speaking on his radio show this morning, the mayor said polychlorinated biphenyls can be compared to asbestos, in that there is no threat unless the toxins become exposed.
Bloomberg added the city's former health commissioner, Tom Frieden, says a lunchroom staple is more toxic than the schools' lights.
"Tom says basically that one tuna fish sandwich puts more PCBs in your body than breathing air in a normal school for an entire career as a student,” Bloomberg said.
The mayor's remarks came just days after federal inspectors found abnormally high levels of the chemicals at an elementary school in Brooklyn.
After a standoff with the Environmental Protection Agency, Bloomberg recently approved nearly $750 million to replace light fixtures in hundreds of schools over the next 10 years.