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Some Homes and Buildings in Puerto Rico Still Have PCB-Containing Fluorescent Light Ballasts

Zimmetry Environmental provides testing and consulting services to identify and mitigate exposure risks to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other hazardous substances in Puerto Rico and across the region.

Bayamon, Puerto Rico – WEBWIRE

PCB-containing light ballasts still in use have exceeded their designed lifespan and the chance for rupture and emitting PCBs is significant.

Polychlorinated biphenyls, more commonly referred to as PCBs, belong to a broad family of man-made organic chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons. They were domestically manufactured from 1929 until manufacturing was banned in 1979 in the United States.
Due to their non-flammability, chemical stability, high boiling point and electrical insulating properties, PCBs were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications. They were used extensively as coolants in hydraulic systems and as dielectric fluids in electrical equipment as well as many other applications. In buildings, PCBs were even once used in some paints, mastics, sealants, adhesives, caulking, specialty coatings and fluorescent light ballasts (FLBs).
To address exposure risks associated with fluorescent light ballasts, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a 5-page information and reference fact sheet on the topic last year. In it, the agency reports that any FLB manufactured before July 2, 1979, may contain PCBs and that these ballasts commonly contain pure PCB liquid in small (less than two ounces) sealed capacitor(s). PCBs have also been found in FLB “potting material” which is a tar-like filling/packing material inside the metal ballast casing. FLBs containing PCBs are regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
“PCB-containing light ballasts still in use have exceeded their designed lifespan and the chance for rupture and emitting PCBs is significant,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “A sudden rupture of one of these ballasts could easily result in exposure for any building occupants. The EPA even reports that intact PCB-containing FLBs may emit small amounts of PCBs into the air during normal use.”
Helping property owners, facility managers and tenants identify exposure risks to PCBs from FLBs and other sources in Puerto Rico are the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) professionals at Zimmetry Environmental. They offer testing and consulting services to identify and mitigate exposure risks. These services not only protect building occupants, they also help to keep businesses and institutions in regulatory compliance. Zimmetry has even sponsored an educational video about PCBs and fluorescent light ballasts that can be seen at:
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their PCB, indoor air quality, industrial hygiene and environmental testing, consulting and compliance services, please visit, call (787) 995.0005 or email .
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.

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 Puerto Rico
 Industrial Hygiene

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