PCBs not in Schools

PCBs in Malibu Schools: How Risky are They?

There have been many recent press accounts regarding the discovery of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in certain building materials in Malibu California schools.  The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) retained Environ, an environmental firm, to serve as their consultant to evaluate the PCBs’ significance.  Environ tested indoor air samples, caulk samples and building material wipe […]

They Call Me Mellow Yellow, or the Tale of PCB-11

 With apologies to Donovan, a few months ago there was a story in the popular science magazines about PCBs being found in yellow pigments used in a variety of products.  The stories often had that inflammatory tone reserved for announcing the latest environmental hazard.  Here are a few examples: 1, 2, and 3.  You should […]

PCBs in Soil around Buildings from Pesticide Applications

Before beginning this post we at OTO want to express our deepest sympathies to the individuals and families who experienced losses in the wake of the horrible Boston Marathon bombing.  We also want to extend our gratitude to the medical teams that helped the injured and to our local, state and federal law enforcement officers […]

EPA Issues Major Reinterpretation on Excluded PCB Products

In a regulatory reinterpretation with far significant implications, the USEPA clarified the definition of “Excluded PCB Products” as used in the PCB regulations and signaled its intention to deemphasize the regulation of low concentration PCBs in commercial products.  Excluded PCB products are defined as commercial products containing PCBs originating from Aroclor or non-Aroclor sources where […]

Differences between the PCB Aroclors

From a professional perspective, PCBs entered my life in 1978 while I was post-grad research associate at the U of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture.  The mission of our lab was to develop data in support of EPA pesticide registrations for tropical crops.  Pesticide registration is normally conducted by the pesticide manufacturers, but tropical crops […]

EPA Decides on PCB Bulk Product Waste Reinterpretation

Following months of internal review, the USEPA has decided to broaden its interpretation of the “PCB bulk products” definition under the PCB regulations, 40 CFR 761 (see EPA memorandum).  This change benefits the regulated community by simplifying the removal of PCBs from buildings. BACKGROUND On February 29th this year, EPA published a Federal Register notice […]