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School District’s Education Center Works to Remove Materials Containing PCBs

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

Seattle, WA – WEBWIRE
EMSL Analytical, Inc. Laboratory Locations
EMSL Analytical, Inc. Laboratory Locations

Recently, The Monroe Monitor & Valley News published a report about an investigation regarding air quality complaints at a local education center. According to the article, more than 70 teachers, students and parents have reported symptoms associated with illnesses that they believe were due to spending time in the facility.

Indoor environmental testing was reportedly conducted in the building looking for sources of the complaints. The local Health District Environmental Health Division then issued the school district with a list of requirements and a timeline to remove light ballasts, paint and caulk in the building that contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Although the production of PCBs in the United States was halted in the late 1970s, many buildings still contain materials such as paints, mastics, sealants, caulks, adhesives, specialty coatings and fluorescent light ballasts with the hazardous chemicals. In fact, in 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided guidance to school administrators and building managers with information about PCBs in caulk. The EPA recommends that schools test for PCBs in peeling, brittle, cracking or deteriorating caulk.

“PCBs can persist in old building materials and contaminate surfaces, dust, soil and the indoor air quality as they degrade,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “It’s important to test suspect materials so they can be handled with the proper safety precautions during removal, renovation, remodeling and demolition activities.”

Studies have shown that PCBs cause cancer in animals and have non-cancer effects on the immune system, reproductive system and endocrine system. To help identify and prevent exposure to PCBs and other hazardous substances, EMSL offers air, wipe and bulk material testing services.  EMSL has also created an educational video about PCBs that can be seen at:

To learn more about PCBs 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, consumer product and materials testing services and products for 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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 indoor air quality
 occupational hazard
 polychlorinated biphenyls

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