44 Facts About PCBs


The bromine analogues of PCBs are polybrominated biphenyls, which have analogous applications and environmental concerns.

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PCBs do not easily break down or degrade, which made them attractive for industries.

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PCBs are derived from biphenyl, which has the formula C12H10, sometimes written 2.

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In terms of their structure and toxicity, PCBs fall into two distinct categories, referred to as coplanar or non-ortho-substituted arene substitution patterns and noncoplanar or ortho-substituted congeners.

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Utility of PCBs is based largely on their chemical stability, including low flammability and high dielectric constant.

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Use of PCBs is commonly divided into closed and open applications.

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In contrast, the major open application of PCBs was in carbonless copy paper, which even presently results in paper contamination.

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PCBs are still found in old equipment like capacitors, ballasts, X-ray machine, and other e-waste.

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PCBs have entered the environment through both use and disposal.

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Small volume of PCBs has been detected throughout the earth's atmosphere.

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PCBs concentrate in marine environments because freshwater systems, like rivers, act as a bridge for plastic pollution to be transported from terrestrial environments into marine environments.

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An organism can accumulate PCBs by consuming other organisms that have previously ingested PCBs from terrestrial, freshwater, or marine environments.

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PCBs can be transported by birds from aquatic sources onto land via feces and carcasses.

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PCBs undergo xenobiotic biotransformation, a mechanism used to make lipophilic toxins more polar and more easily excreted from the body.

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PCBs containing ortho–meta and meta–para protons can be metabolized by either enzyme, making them the most likely to leave the organism.

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However, some metabolites of PCBs containing ortho–meta protons have increased steric hindrance from the oxygen, causing increased stability and an increased chance of accumulation.

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The excretion rate of PCBs matched with the perch's natural bioenergetics, where most of their consumption, respiration and growth rates occur during the late spring and summer.

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PCBs have shown toxic and mutagenic effects by interfering with hormones in the body.

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PCBs that have dioxin-like activity are known to cause a variety of teratogenic effects in animals.

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Exposure to PCBs causes hearing loss and symptoms similar to hypothyroidism in rats.

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In 2013, the IARC determined that the evidence for PCBs causing non-Hodgkin lymphoma is "limited" and "not consistent".

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Monsanto settled some of these cases and won the others, on the grounds that it had clearly told its customers that PCBs were dangerous chemicals and that protective procedures needed to be implemented.

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In 2014, the Los Angeles Superior Court found that Monsanto was not liable for cancers claimed to be from PCBs permeating the food supply of three plaintiffs who had developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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In July 2015, a St Louis county court in Missouri found that Monsanto, Solutia, Pharmacia and Pfizer were not liable for a series of deaths and injuries caused by PCBs manufactured by Monsanto Chemical Company until 1977.

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PCBs, originally termed "chlorinated diphenyls", were commercially produced as mixtures of isomers at different degrees of chlorination.

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PCBs were commonly used as heat stabilizer in cables and electronic components to enhance the heat and fire resistance of PVC.

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In 1966, PCBs were determined by Swedish chemist Soren Jensen to be an environmental contaminant.

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The public, legal, and scientific concerns about PCBs arose from research indicating they are likely carcinogens having the potential to adversely impact the environment and, therefore, undesirable as commercial products.

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PCBs entered the human food supply by animals grazing on contaminated pastures near the factory, especially in local veal mostly eaten by farmers' families.

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In 1968, a mixture of dioxins and PCBs got into rice bran oil produced in northern Kyushu.

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Traces of PCBs were found in food and Krupa is still the most PCB-polluted river in the world.

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PCBs originating from Monsanto Chemical Company in Anniston, Alabama, were dumped into Snow Creek, which then spread to Choccolocco Creek, then Logan Martin Lake.

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Over 2 million pounds of PCBs were estimated to have been dumped in Monroe and Owen counties.

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The PCBs came from the company's two capacitor manufacturing plants at Hudson Falls and Fort Edward, New York.

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Cleanup and disposal of the roadside PCBs generated controversy, as the Governor's plan to pick up the roadside PCBs and to bury them in a landfill in rural Warren County were strongly opposed in 1982 by local residents.

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In February 2014, the City of Charlotte admitted PCBs have entered their sewage treatment centers as well.

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PCBs were found in soil in a public park within the area of the cancer cluster.

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PCBs entered the environment through paint, hydraulic fluids, sealants, inks and have been found in river sediment and wildlife.

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Spokane utilities will spend $300 million to prevent PCBs from entering the river in anticipation of a 2017 federal deadline to do so.

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PCBs are technically attractive because of their inertness, which includes their resistance to combustion.

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PCBs have been destroyed by pyrolysis in the presence of alkali metal carbonates.

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PCBs are fairly chemically unreactive, this property being attractive for its application as an inert material.

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Commonly, PCBs are degraded by basic mixtures of glycols, which displace some or all chloride.

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Use of microorganisms to degrade PCBs from contaminated sites, relying on multiple microorganisms' co-metabolism, is known as bioremediation of polychlorinated biphenyl.

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