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EPA Releases Information About Preventing and Detecting PCB Contamination in Used Oil

EMSL Analytical provides testing services and sampling supplies to identify polychlorinated biphenyls from environmental samples and a wide range of bulk materials.q

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

Last year the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the fact sheet, Preventing and Detecting PCB Contamination in Used Oil. In it, the agency recommends commercial and municipal used oil collection centers and recyclers use the voluntary best management practices (BMPs) outlined in the document to reduce the spread of PCB contamination in used oil and decrease the frequency of PCB incidents.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are man-made toxic chemicals that persist in the environment and can bioaccumulate in living organisms. PCBs were manufactured in the United States from the late 1920s until 1979 when their production was banned due to health and environmental concerns. PCBs have been identified as probable human carcinogens and are believed to have non-cancer effects on the immune system, reproductive system and endocrine system.

Even with the ban, the EPA reports that PCBs may still be present in products and materials produced before 1979, including oil used in motors and hydraulic systems. The agency states that used oil containing PCBs at concentrations of 50 parts per million (ppm) or greater (greater than or equal to 50 ppm) is regulated for disposal under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and that these requirements may not be avoided through dilution. When PCB oil greater than 50 ppm is introduced into used oil, the entire volume (which otherwise generally could be recycled and reused) must be disposed of in accordance with the TSCA regulations. All tanks, equipment and vehicles must be decontaminated and the PCB contaminated oil must be disposed of in accordance with the PCB regulations (40 CFR section 761.79), which can be costly.

“The EPA recommends that collection centers obtain a sample of used oil from each batch received, known as a retain sample,” said Joe Frasca of Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “This is done so that in the event of detection of PCBs in the collection tank, these samples can be analyzed to determine the source of the PCBs. To help commercial and municipal used oil recyclers and collection centers address these types of concerns, EMSL Analytical offers comprehensive analytical services for PCBs and other hazardous chemicals.”

To learn more about PCB testing from bulk materials, air samples or other environmental sources, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 45 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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 Polychlorinated Biphenyls
 Collection Tank
 Bulk Material

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