Category Archives: PCBs 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 … Continue reading

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PCBs in School Buildings: Does Malibu Mark a Tipping Point?

While the first alarms bells about PCBs in school buildings may have sounded in New England, the echo of that call-to-arms can now be heard on the west coast.   The discovery of PCBs in Malibu California schools and the press … Continue reading

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Does Removing PCBs from Schools Improve Health or Reduce Risk?

 At the end of May I posted an article that reviewed the routes of exposure by which people are exposed to PCBs.  After some general discussion, the article focused on the total PCB intake for three elementary school-aged child receptors … Continue reading

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How do PCBs get into People?

 It is well known that all people have some amount of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in their body.  Now the total amount of PCBs we have in us is quite small and there is no real evidence that it is doing … Continue reading

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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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