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PCBs Lurking in the Yards of Some New York Homes

EMSL Analytical provides sampling supplies and testing services to identify polychlorinated biphenyls at homes, schools and commercial buildings.

Buffalo, NY – WEBWIRE
EMSL Analytical, Inc. Laboratory Locations
EMSL Analytical, Inc. Laboratory Locations

Recently, there have been media reports of the discovery of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the soil at 19 homes in Salina, New York. The contaminated soil samples were collected from the backyards of homes that reside along Ley Creek.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Lower Ley Creek area is located in an industrialized area in the town. Since the late 19th century, several industries have been operating near Ley Creek and its branches. As part of these operations, industrial wastes containing PCB oils and other hazardous substances were discharged into the creek. In the 1970s, Ley Creek was dredged and redirected through the Town of Salina Landfill by Onondaga County in an effort to control flooding. Dredged material was spread along the shoreline of the creek and also disposed of at the landfill.

State health and environmental officials have notified the homeowners and advised them to keep children from playing or digging in the dirt, limit contact with the soil, avoid tracking dirt into homes and to not plant gardens on the impacted lots.

“PCBs are man-made toxic chemicals that persist in the environment and can bioaccumulate in living organisms,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “PCBs were manufactured in the United States up until the late 1970s when their production was banned due to health and environmental concerns. Studies have shown that PCBs cause cancer in animals and have non-cancer effects on the immune system, reproductive system and endocrine system.”

Before their ban, PCBs were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications. The chemical compounds were also used in building materials that can be found indoors. These include some paints, mastics, sealants, adhesives, caulking, specialty coatings and fluorescent light ballasts. These PCBs can contaminate surfaces, dust, soils and even cause indoor air quality (IAQ) concerns.

To help identify and prevent exposure to PCBs, EMSL offers air, wipe and bulk material testing services. These services can identify areas that could create exposure risks for people so that the proper procedures can be implemented to safely remove these hazardous chemical compounds. EMSL has also created an educational video about PCB testing services that can be seen at:

To learn more about PCB testing in soil, paint, caulk, air, dust or other materials, please visit, 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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 PCB in soil
 PCB testing
 toxic chemical
 polychlorinated biphenyls

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