PCB Dangers Persist in Some Older Structures
The environmental professionals at Clark Seif Clark (CSC) provide testing solutions for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to identify their presence and protect building occupants.
PCBs belong to a broad family of man-made organic chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons. They were domestically manufactured from 1929 until their ban in 1979. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) website, “Due to their non-flammability, chemical stability, high boiling point, and electrical insulating properties, PCBs were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications including electrical, heat transfer, and hydraulic equipment; as plasticizers in paints, plastics, and rubber products; in pigments, dyes, and carbonless copy paper; and many other industrial applications.”
Although no longer commercially produced in the United States, PCBs may still be present in products and materials produced before the 1979 ban. Last year the EPA released new guidance regarding PCBs in caulk from buildings constructed or renovated between 1950 and 1978. The EPA recommends testing for PCBs in peeling, brittle, cracking or deteriorating caulk in buildings, especially in school environments.
Due to their chemical structure, PCBs do not readily break down and therefore may remain for long periods of time cycling between air, water and soil. PCBs have been demonstrated to cause a variety of adverse health effects on the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems.
Clark Seif Clark, a leading provider of environmental and indoor air quality (IAQ) consulting services, has broad expertise in dealing with PCBs in indoor environments. “Decades after their ban PCBs are still a potential health hazard,” reported Derrick A. Denis, V.P. Indoor Environmental Quality at CSC. “Testing for their presence in older structures will determine if there is an exposure risk to building occupants.”
About Clark Seif Clark (CSC)
CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both the public and private sectors address environmental issues. CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.
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- Paul Cochrane
- Cochrane & Associates, LLC
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