Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) are a broad class of manufactured organic chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons. They were used in manufacturing by adding to products and materials for water and chemical resistance. PCBs were banned in 1979 because they don’t break down in the environment. PCBs can accumulate in plants and food crops, along with small organisms and fish, resulting in exposure to humans through consumption. The Environmental Protection Agency allows limited use of PCBs if stringent guidelines are adhered to. A new regulatory focus for PCB containing materials is in caulking: for window frames, concrete panels, and the nearby substrates the caulking comes into contact with (porous: concrete, stucco, paint, non-porous: metal frames and glass).
If a renovation or demolition is anticipated, the first step is to have a planning and design discussion. FACS is here to help with a targeted inspection for specific location and materials, and can then assist with waste disposal considerations if PCB-containing materials are discovered.
PCB Guidelines – Assessment and Remediation of PCBs in the Built Environment
American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) | Paid, January 2017