Polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, are part of a family of man-made organic chemicals called chlorinated hydrocarbons. PCB’s are composed of a variety of chlorinated biphenyl components. They vary in toxicity as well as consistency, are non-flammable, chemically stable, have a high boiling point, and are a good electrical insulator. They are odorless, tasteless, and are generally invisible or very light yellow in color.
PCBs were manufactured between 1929 and 1979 for both commercial and industrial uses. During this time, PCBs were used in electrical and hydraulic equipment, paint, plastic, rubber, pigments, dyes, carbonless copy paper, and other products. PCBs were also sprayed on dirt roads to keep the dust from rising. Approximately 1.5 billion pounds of PCBs were manufactured while effects were not known.
Despite the fact that PCB’s are no longer being manufactured, they can still be found in some products manufactured before 1979, including transformers, capacitors, some electrical equipment, motor oil, the oil used in hydraulic systems, fluorescent light ballasts, cable insulation, thermal insulation material, adhesives, tape, oil-based paint, caulking, and floor finishes.
PCB’s are a public health concern, as well as an environmental concern. They are known to cause cancer and adversely affect the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, and endocrine system. PCBs do not easily break down, and therefore remain in the environment for a long time. If you want to speak with us about PCB removal in your facility, go to our contact us page to request an estimate.