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Decades after their Ban Toxic PCBs are Still a Threat


The indoor air quality consulting experts at Future Environment Designs provide environmental testing solutions for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Although no longer commercially produced in the United States, PCBs may still be present in products and materials produced before 1979. PCBs belong to a broad family of man-made organic chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons. Domestically manufactured from 1929 until their ban in 1979, PCBs were used in numerous industrial and commercial applications.

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.

The EPA’s partial list of items that may contain PCBs includes:
• Transformers and capacitors
• Other electrical equipment including voltage regulators, switches, reclosers, bushings, and electromagnets
• Oil used in motors and hydraulic systems
• Old electrical devices or appliances containing PCB capacitors
• Fluorescent light ballasts
• Cable insulation
• Thermal insulation material including fiberglass, felt, foam, and cork
• Adhesives and tapes
• Oil-based paint
• Caulking
• Plastics
• Carbonless copy paper
• Floor finishes

Due to the chemical structure of PCBs they do not readily break down and can remain for long periods of time cycling between air, water and soil. PCBs can cause cancer, as well as a variety of other health problems for the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems.

Future Environment Designs, Inc. (FED), a leading indoor air quality consulting service, provides PCB testing on Long Island, across New York and the Northeast. “Even though PCBs haven’t been manufactured in the U.S. in decades they are still causing health problems for people,” reported Angelo Garcia, Principal-Industrial Hygienist of FED. “At FED we can test air and bulk samples to ensure they are free of PCBs and not causing dangerous conditions for building occupants.”

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

To learn more about PCBs, mold or other indoor air quality (IAQ) contaminants please visit, email or call (800) 969-3888.

About Future Environment Designs, Inc.
FED is a leading provider of indoor air quality consulting, industrial hygiene and inspection services for clients across the Northeast. Based on Long Island, New York, the company provides their consulting and training services to clients ranging from local companies and institutions to international Fortune 500 corporations.


 Indoor Air Quality

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