Category Archives: PCBs in Schools

PCB Regulations: The Origin Story

The PCB regulations (40 CFR 761) were proposed by the USEPA to implement certain specific the requirements in the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976 (TSCA).  While only a small part of TSCA, the PCB mandates (Section 6(e)) looms large … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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PCBs: Aroclors, Homologs and Congeners

With PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) being more in the news, you may hear the terms “Aroclors”, “homologs” and “congeners” used to describe the different ways that PCBs are measured.  Measuring the concentration of PCBs gets complicated because there are actually 209 … Continue reading

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Does Breathing PCBs have the Same Effects as Ingesting Them?

In schools and other buildings where there is concern about exposures to PCBs, inhalation of contaminated air is usually the exposure pathway of greatest concern.  However, few, if any, laboratory studies have specifically considered whether the inhalation of PCBs results … Continue reading

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Coplanar (aka “dioxin-like”) PCBs

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are an environmental contaminant in the news  because they have been discovered in schools and other buildings.  PCBs are actually a mixture of many different similar chemicals; there are 209 chemically different chlorinated biphenyls that together make … Continue reading

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Differences Between Type 1 and Type 2 Aroclor 1254 (PCBs)

Aroclor 1254 was the PCB mixture most commonly used in building materials, based on my personal experience reviewing test results.  Recently, as I was digesting data and researching literature to prepare for my UMass Soils Conference presentation this fall, I … Continue reading

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