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EPA Announces Guidance on PCBs in Caulk of Buildings


EMSL Analytical spearheads national awareness and testing solutions for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Westmont, NJ, October 1st, 2009

Last month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new guidance to communities on PCBs in caulk from buildings constructed or renovated between 1950 and 1978. The EPA now recommends testing for PCBs in peeling, brittle, cracking or deteriorating caulk in buildings, especially in schools environments from the nearly 30 year time period.

Production of PCBs in the United States was halted in the late 1970s, but prior to then it was used in some electronics and building materials, including some caulks. These PCBs persist in old building materials and can contaminate surfaces, soils and the indoor air quality (IAQ). According to the EPA, “Building owners and facility managers should also consider testing to determine if PCB levels in the air exceed EPA’s suggested public health levels.”

According to the EPA, PCBs have been shown to cause cancer and numerous other serious health effects in animals. These include issues with the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, endocrine system and other negative health effects.

EMSL Analytical, a leading provider of advanced environmental laboratory services, has recently doubled instrument capacity for PCB analysis at their NELAC certified laboratory in Westmont, New Jersey. The laboratory has been busy providing testing services for PCB in caulk for clients nationwide.

“Even though it has been over 30 years since PCBs were banned in most products they don’t readily break down in our environment and still present a problem in more areas than most people realize,” reported Joe Frasca, Executive Vice President at EMSL Analytical. “It is important that PCBs not be released into the air during renovations or removal of contaminated caulks.”

EMSL has been a leader in providing PCB testing solutions for years. Samples are analyzed by gas chromatography (GC) equipped with dual electron capture detectors (ECD) following EPA methodologies. To learn more about PCB testing in caulk and other materials please visit, email or call (800) 220-3675.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, food, and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


 EPA Guidance PCBs
 caulk schools constructed
 building materials IAQ
 contamination cancer

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