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PCBs are Still a Danger Decades after their Ban


The building consulting experts at EC2 provide testing solutions for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to determine if their toxic presence is a danger to building occupants.

PCBs belong to a broad family of man-made organic chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons. PCBs were domestically manufactured from 1929 until their ban in 1979 and were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications.

Although no longer commercially produced in the United States, PCBs may be present in products and materials produced before the 1979 ban. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new guidance in 2009 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.

PCBs do not readily break down and therefore may remain for long periods of time cycling between air, water and soil. PCBs can be carried long distances and have been found all over the world. PCBs have been demonstrated to cause cancer, as well as a variety of other adverse health effects on the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems.

EC2, Inc. (ec2), a leading environmental and building science consulting service, is the primary provider of PCB testing services across Chicago and Northern Illinois. “When the Environmental Protection Agency came out with their new guidance on PCBs in caulk it really caught the attention of a lot of people,” reported Ed Chambers, President of ec2. “Since they break down so slowly their toxic effects are still with us today and people need to be aware of their dangers. EC2 can test suspect materials and air samples to ensure they are free of PCBs.”

A new public service video on PCBs lists EC2 a resource and can be viewed at:

To learn more about protecting indoor environments from PCBs, mold or other indoor air quality (IAQ) contaminants please visit, email or call (815) 703-9000.

About EC2, Inc.
EC2 is a leading provider of environmental consulting and inspection services for clients across the United States. Based in the Chicago area, the company provides their services to clients ranging from local companies and institutions to international Fortune 500 corporations.


 Indoor Air Quality

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