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Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) Testing Services

Category Press Release
Publish Date 10/18/2021
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Exposure Hazards in Some Homes and Buildings That Still Contain PCBs
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides laboratory testing services and sampling supplies to identify polychlorinated biphenyls from building materials and environmental samples.

Cinnaminson, NJ, October 18th, 2021

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were domestically produced from 1929 until manufacturing was banned in 1979. PCBs belong to a broad family of man-made organic chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons. These chemicals can persist in the environment and bioaccumulate in living organisms.

Even though PCBs have not been produced in the United States in decades, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that PCBs may still be present in products and materials produced before the ban. The agency has expressed concern that there was potential widespread use of PCB-containing building materials in schools and other buildings constructed or renovated between about 1950 and 1979.

Information provided by the EPA in recent years about PCBs in building materials has in part been based on research results examining the chemicals in school buildings. These same concerns can also easily apply to other buildings and include:
 
  • Caulk put in place between 1950 and 1979 may contain as much as 40% PCBs and can emit into the surrounding air. PCBs from caulk may also contaminate adjacent materials such as masonry or wood.
  • Fluorescent lighting fixtures that still contain their original PCB-containing light ballasts have far exceeded their designed lifespan and the chance for rupture and emitting PCBs is significant.
  • Some building materials (e.g., paint and masonry walls) and indoor dust can absorb PCB emissions and become potential secondary sources for PCBs. When the primary PCB-emitting sources are removed, the secondary sources often emit PCBs.


“In addition to PCB-containing caulk and light ballasts, the EPA has also warned of its past use in paints, mastics, and other adhesives, fireproofing materials, and in some ceiling tiles and acoustic boards,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “To help identify these types of potential hazards, EMSL offers material, environmental, and indoor environmental quality (IEQ) testing services and sampling supplies for PCBs and many other hazardous substances.”

The PCB testing experts at EMSL sponsored an educational video about PCBs in building materials that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/o-e5o86u0mk.

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


About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products, and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP, and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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