What are PCBs?

What are PCBs?

PCBs, otherwise known as "polychlorinated biphenyls" form a group of compounds which were developed in the 1930s and widely used for a variety of purposes. They were banned in the United States in 1977 due to their toxicity and persistence in the environment. Between 1930 and 1970, more 1.5 billion pounds of PCBs were manufactured in the United States. PCBs are mixtures of synthetic organic chemicals with the same basic chemical structure and similar physical properties ranging from oily liquids to waxy solids. They have little to no odor or taste.

Background on PCB - EPA Web Site
An Overall History of PCBs - When Were Health Problems Detected?
- FoxRiverwatch.com
Q & A on PCB Remediation - EPA
Basel Convention Guidelines 2005
Toxic Substances Portal - Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)


Definition and Identification

PCBs are a class of 209 chemicals known as congeners. Each congeners is defined by the number and position of the chlorine atoms attached to the biphenyl rings. Of the 209 PCB congeners, a dozen are now considered by many toxicologists to be "dioxin-like". The more highly chlorinated congeners are less readily degraded than the less chlorinated congeners. The PCBs were manufactured under many different names by various companies, including Aroclor, Phenoclor and Kaneclor.

PCB Definitions and Identification - EPA Web Site.

Chemistry of PCB

PCB ID - Table of PCB Congeners & Other Species
PCB Congener Composition of Aroclor Mixes

Toxic Equivalency Factors for PCB Congeners
PCB ID - Downloads & Data Dictionary
Congener Profiles of PCBs and New Proposal of Indicator Congeners


5th PCB Workshop

Iowa City, Iowa
May 18 - 21, 2008


Summary and Implications: Dr. Linda S.. Birnbaum US EPA May 2008

Conference Objectives
Scientists from many disciplines are concerned with the physical and chemical as well as the biomedical aspects of the detection, movement, metabolism, toxicity, remediation and risk assessment of PCBs. A primary objective of this Workshop is to bring these scientists together in one location to encourage interactions and the exchange of information. An obvious example is that the analytical chemist may not quantify the congeneric PCBs the toxicologist, the epidemiologist the risk assessor hold as important. A second major goal of this Workshop is to compose a new up-to-date compendium on the very latest findings relating to the chemistry and biology of PCBs and their risk to human health. The organizing committee envisions this workshop to be an unbiased statement of the state of our knowledge and not only a summary of any one contributor's own research. It is anticipated that the product of this conference will be published in a journal format.



Exposure Pathways and Health Effects

Blood Pressure in Relation to Concentrations of PCB Congeners and Chlorinated Pesticides ,,, Environmental Health Perspective 2010
What are the Health Efects - EPA Web Site
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs): Routes of Exposure and Effects on Human Health
-David Carpenter M.D.
Fact Sheet: PCBs in New York City School Buildings ...NYC Department of Health 2008
Carcinogenicity of "non-dioxinlike" polychlorinated biphenyls -
Crit Rev Toxicol. 2006 Oct;36(9):663-9
Vaccines less effective in kids exposed to PCBs ,,, Environmental Health Perspectives http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1001975.
10-year PCB Guideline--attempt to balance hygienic and medical/environmental-toxicological views Gesundheitswesen. 2005 Nov; 67(11):809-19
Estimating the half-lives of PCB congeners in former capacitor workers measured over a 28-year interval.. NYS Department of Health 2010
Biphenyls in Outdoor and Indoor Air and Soil in a Major U.K. Conurbation ... Environmental Science & Technology 2007
Concentrations and Chiral Signatures of Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Outdoor and Indoor Air and Soil in a Major U.K. Conurbation - Synopsis
PCBs ... WHO 2000
PCBs cause abnormalities similar to defects in autistic kids - LA Times May 2007
Comparison of Poychlorinated Biphenyl Concentrations in Indoor and Outdoor and
the Potential Significance of Inhalation as a Human Exposure Pathway
... Environmental Science & Technology 1998
Human Health Risks from PCBs - Foxriverwatch.com
Effects of PCB Exposure on Neuropsychological Function in Children
- Environmental Health Perspective
Public Health Implications of Exposure To Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
Neuropsychological effects of chronic low-dose exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs): A cross-sectional study - Environmental Health
PCBs in the Environment and Their Extensive Effects on Fetuses and Children - University of Michigan
PCBs, Fungicide Open Brain Cells to Parkinson's Assault - University of Rochester Medical Center
Risk Assessment of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) In Indoor Air
- California EPA
Concentrations of Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Blood and the Risk for Testicular Cancer - Int. Journal of Andrology
Environmental PCB Exposure and Risk of Endometriosis - Human Reproduction
Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Menstrual Cycle Characteristics- Epidemiology. 2005 March
Respiratory disease in relation to patient residence near to hazardous waste sites _Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology 2004
PCB in interiors - a relevant health risk? - Gesundheitswesen. 2004 Feb
Effects of PCB Exposure on Neuropsychological Function in Children - Environ Health Perspect. 2003
Polychlorinated Biphenyls: Human Health Aspects - Concise International Chemical Assessment Document 55
Polychlorinated biphenyls--toxicology and health risk
PCB-blood levels in teachers, working in PCB-contaminated schools - Chemosphere. 2000
Evidence for increased internal exposure to lower chlorinated polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) in pupils attending a contaminated school. - Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2004
Polychlorinated Biphenyls Disturb Differentiation of Normal Human Neural Progenitor Cells: Clue for Involvement of Thyroid Hormone Receptors. - Environmental Health Perspectives 2005
Management of indoor air pollution by polychlorinated biphenyl compounds exemplified by two Hagen schools - Gesundheitswesen. 1994
Human biomonitoring of polychlorinated biphenyls in 130 exposed elementary school children
- Gesundheitswesen. 1999
Human biomonitoring of polychlorinated biphenyls and polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and dibenzofuranes in teachers working in a PCB-contaminated school - Chemosphere. 2002
Dioxin-like PCB in indoor air contaminated with different sources - ORGANOHALOGEN COMPOUNDS (2004)
Intellectual Impairment in Children Exposed to Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Utero - New England Journal of Medicine 1996
Fetal Brain Damage, Developmental Delays and Intellectual Impairment as a Result of Exposure to Polychlorinated Biphenyl [PCB] in Pregnancy - "The Consumer Law Page
Reassessment of the carcinogenicity of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) - Journal Toxicol Environ Health. 1997
Toxicity equivalency factors for PCBs? - Qual Assur. 1991
The Environment and Male Fertility: Recent Research on Emerging Chemicals and Semen Quality
- Semin Reprod Med 2006
Comparison of polychlorinated biphenyl levels across studies of human neurodevelopment. (Research) - Environmental Health Perspectives; 1/1/2003
Neuropsychological effects of chronic low-dose exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs): A cross-sectional study - Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source 2005
Aroclor 1242 Inhalation and Ingestion By Sprague-Dawley Rats - Albany University School of Public Health 1998
Pollutants may curb efficacy of childhood vaccines ... Science News September 1, 2006
PCBs and cognitive functioning of Mohawk adolescents. ... Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2006 Jul-Aug;28(4):439-45. Epub 2006 Jun 30
Disrupting effects of hydroxy-polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners on neuronal development of cerebellar Purkinje cells: A possible causal factor for developmental brain disorders ... Chemosphere. 2007 Jan 12
Polychlorinated biphenyl-induced reduction of dopamine transporter expression as a precursor to Parkinson's disease-associated dopamine toxicity. ... Toxicol Sci. 2006 Aug;92(2):490-9. Epub 2006 May 15
Polychlorinated biphenyls induce proinflammatory cytokine release and dopaminergic dysfunction: Protection in interleukin-6 knockout mice ... J Neuroimmunol. 2007 Jan 15
Associations Between Prenatal Exposure to Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Neonatal Thyroid- Stimulating Hormone Levels in a Mexican-American Population, Salinsa Valley, California ... Environmental Health Perspective November 01, 2008
PCB and dioxin-like PCB in indoor air of public buildings contaminated with different PCB sources--deriving toxicity equivalent concentrations from standard PCB congeners ... Chemosphere. 2007 April
PCB Source Identification Palo Alto Water Quality Control Plant October 1997
Medical study finds PCBs problems in east Alabama city ... 2008
Fact Sheet: PCBs in New York City School Buildings ... NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene
A cohort study of in utero polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposures in relation
to secondary sex ratio
... Enviromental Health Perspectives July 2008
PCB's a new risk factor for diabetes ,,, King5.com/health/stories 2008
Mount Sinai PCB Fact Sheet ... April 2008
PCBs affect learning by stunting brain nerve development... Sept. 2008
Understanding Population and Individual Risk Assessment:
The Case of Polychlorinated Biphenyls
... Peter Shields MD 2006
Diminished Protection? Early Childhood PCB Exposure and Reduced Immune Response to Vaccinations ... October 2010

Terms of Use

Dr. Daniel Lefkowitz

| ph: 914-245-8671 |

Email: info@pcbinschools.org

(c) 2005