Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
PCBs have been identified as potential human carcinogens at certain levels of exposure.
persist in the environment and tend to accumulate in food chains with
possible adverse effects on animals at the top of the chain, including
source of PCBs is generally related to products or materials
manufactured and used prior to the 1980’s. Potential PCB sources
include older dielectric oils commonly used in electrical equipment
such as transformers, capacitors, and oil-filled switches.
PCBs were also commonly used in hydraulic oils and light ballasts manufactured before 1979.
products containing PCBs were widely distributed between the mid-1950’s
and mid-1970’s, and may be present within hydraulic systems and
electrical equipment used during this time period. Contamination
problems associated with PCB equipment are generally associated with
spills or leakage of PCB fluid. As a result, PCB becomes
distributed to surrounding areas, including floors, walls and equipment
pits, or soils in exterior areas.
associated with a variety of lighting systems (i.e., fluorescent and
mercury-vapor lights constructed prior at 1980) may contain PCB fluids.
Such ballasts are only a concern if they have leaked or been
disposed on-site, resulting in a release of PCB materials to the
area. Light ballasts are often removed and disposed during
remodeling or demolition.
of the historical presence of PCB compounds and equipment at a wide
variety of operations, contamination of soils in exterior areas must be
considered. This could be the result of on-site disposal
practices, or burying of PCB equipment. Therefore, the potential
for such contamination associated with existing or previous operations
should be considered and investigated.
If you run into a specific case, give us a call. We’ll be happy to discuss it with you. There is no obligation.