McClymonds High School will be closed for the rest of the week after the halocarbon chemical compound trichloroethylene was found in the school’s groundwater, the Oakland Unified School District said Thursday.
According to the district, the compound was not found in the school’s drinking water and testing is expected to continue during the school’s temporary closure.
Both state and county officials have confirmed that the compound came from somewhere offsite, the district said.
The compound is generally used as an industrial solvent and is colorless, non-flammable and has a slightly sweet smell. Exposure to trichloroethylene can cause irritation to the skin and eyes, with higher concentrations leading to more serious complications such as nausea, headaches and liver damage.
District officials plan to hold a news conference Thursday afternoon to provide more details on the chemical compound’s presence in the school’s groundwater.