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PCBs in Caulk

Category Press Release
Publish Date 2/2/2015
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Could there be Cancer-Causing PCB Containing Caulk in Your Home?
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides information and testing services to identify polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in homes and buildings.

San Diego, CA, February 2nd, 2015

Last year, many people learned that some older caulks used in homes and buildings may contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) when the national media reported that supermodel Cindy Crawford had pulled her children from a California high school after tests found elevated levels of PCBs in some of the classrooms.  The PCBs were believed to be coming from old window caulking.

Caulk can be found in virtually every home and building. The flexible material is used to seal gaps and joints to make them watertight and airtight. Unfortunately, PCBs were used as an additive in some caulks in the past due to their water and chemical resistance, durability and elasticity.

PCB containing caulks were used in some homes and buildings primarily between 1950 and 1980. The chemical compounds were also used in other building materials such as paints, mastics, sealants, adhesives, specialty coatings and fluorescent light ballasts. These PCBs can persist in old materials and contaminate surfaces, dust, soils and the indoor air quality (IAQ) of the structure.

“Exposure to PCBs in buildings can occur by directly touching PCB containing caulk and any surrounding materials, hand to mouth contact and breathing in contaminated air or dust,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc., one of the nation’s leading PCB testing laboratories.  “The EPA recommends testing for PCBs in peeling, brittle, cracking or deteriorating caulk in older buildings. Even caulk that appears to be in good condition may be a source of PCBs.”

EMSL provides advanced testing services and all the sample collection supplies necessary to determine if PCBs are present in caulk, other building materials and the indoor environment of residential and commercial buildings.  They have also created a website dedicated to offering information about PCBs in caulk that can be found at www.PCBCaulk.com.

To learn more about PCB testing in caulk, air, dust or other materials, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800)220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.


About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, industrial hygiene, food and materials testing services and products to government agencies, industry professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.

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