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PCBs Discovered Under Old Floor Tiles at Construction Site

EMSL Analytical provides material, industrial hygiene, and indoor environmental quality testing services and sampling supplies to identify polychlorinated biphenyls and other regulated substances.

Buffalo, New York – WEBWIRE

Last month, multiple media outlets reported about the unexpected discovery of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at a former department store that is being converted for new community uses in New York. According to the news reports, PCBs were discovered when old floor tiles were being examined for the possible presence of asbestos.

The PCBs are believed to have come from the adhesive used to hold down the floor tiles. While many people are aware that PCBs were once used in old fluorescent light ballasts and some caulking materials, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also states that PCBs have been used in paints, mastics, and other adhesives, fireproofing materials, and in the manufacture of some ceiling tiles and acoustic boards, among other products.

Polychlorinated biphenyls are toxic chemicals that persist in the environment and can bioaccumulate in living organisms. This is a major health concern as the chemicals are listed as a probable human carcinogen and are also believed to have non-cancer effects on the immune system, reproductive system, and endocrine system.

“This is yet another example of how PCBs, even though they were banned in the U.S. in 1979, can still be an issue decades later,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Exposure risks remain and this is true for a number of occupied buildings as well as abandoned structures slated for revitalization or demolition.”

With laboratories across the United States and Canada, the industrial hygiene and environmental scientists at EMSL Analytical work with renovation, demolition, construction, and building science professionals to identify PCBs, asbestos, lead, and other chemical and microbial hazards. EMSL also provides sampling supplies, monitoring instruments, and personal protective equipment.

To learn more about EMSL’s PCB testing, or other environmental and industrial hygiene laboratory services, please visit, call (800) 220-3675, or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories 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-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC 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
 Fluorescent Light

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