What Are PCBs?
PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls) are a category of manmade chemicals which were widely used in the ingredients for building materials and electrical products. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned the manufacturing and certain uses of PCBs in 1978.
Where PCBs Are Found
PCBs are frequently found in buildings constructed or renovated between 1950 and 1978. These buildings may still have building materials and electrical products that contain PCBs. Some examples of products that may contain PCBs include; caulk, window glazing, paint, glues, plastics, fluorescent lighting ballasts, transformers and capacitors. PCBs continue to be widespread in our soil, air, water and food because of past use and disposal.
Potential Consequences Of Exposure
Studies have shown behavioral and developmental problems among children whose mothers were either exposed to large amounts of PCBs or regularly ate fish from contaminated waters during pregnancy.
Evidence is limited regarding PCBs and cancer in humans, but PCBs are classified as probable human carcinogens. Some studies of workers suggest that high-level exposure increases the risk of liver cancer. PCBs have been found to cause cancer and other health effects in laboratory animals.
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