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Could the Caulking in Your Home, School or Office Contain Asbestos or PCBs?

EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers testing services and sampling supplies to identify hazardous materials to protect families, students and workers.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE
EMSL Analytical, Inc. Laboratory Locations
EMSL Analytical, Inc. Laboratory Locations

Most people are aware that exposure to asbestos or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) can be hazardous, but far fewer know that some types of caulking used in the past contained asbestos fibers and PCBs. In fact, there are reports that indicate that some caulking compounds used to build and renovate buildings up until the 1970s had considerable concentrations of these materials.

Today, decades after their use, they are still causing health and safety concerns. Just this summer, WJHG broadcasted a report about asbestos-containing caulks being removed during demolition activities at a sports stadium in Florida. It was also recently reported by various media outlets that asbestos-containing caulk removal activities took place in some of the student housing over the summer at a university in Wisconsin. 

Fortunately, in both of these circumstances dealing with asbestos-containing caulk, the hazards were recognized. However, this is not often the case in the hundreds of thousands of demolition, remodeling and renovation projects that take place each year in the United States. The same lack of information is true for projects that encounter old caulking compounds that contain PCBs. According to research conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Caulk put in place between 1950 and 1979 may contain as much as 40 percent PCBs and can emit PCBs into the surrounding air. PCBs from caulk may also contaminate adjacent materials such as masonry or wood.”  

“Property owners, managers and companies involved with renovating, remodeling and demolishing residential and commercial buildings need to be aware of asbestos and PCB hazards that may be present in caulking compounds,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “The only way to know if either of these materials exist in old caulk is to have it tested. If test results come back positive, then there are steps that need to be taken to not only protect workers, but also anyone who enters these buildings during and after any activities that disturb caulking compounds.”

EMSL Analytical, Inc. identifies asbestos and PCBs in caulking and other materials, as well as from air and dust samples. EMSL has dozens of laboratories across the United States and Canada that provide testing services and all of the sampling supplies necessary.

To learn more about EMSL’s asbestos, PCB or other hazardous material and indoor air quality testing services, please visit or, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality 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. 

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