PCB, or PolyChlorinated Biphenyls, and PCT PolyChlorinated Terphenyls are chlorinated chemical derivatives better known under the brand names of Askarel or Pyralene.
Since the 1930ies, PCB were used in the industry for their qualities of insulation, lubrication and flammability.
We found them as insulation in electrical transformers and capacitors, as lubricants in turbines and pumps, or as components of oils, welds, adhesives, paints and carbonless paper.
There is evidence that PCB pose problems of toxicity.
This is why, since 30 years, these substances are no longer produced nor used in the fabrication of devices in Europe.
PCB persist in the environment due to their very slow natural decomposition (a low biodegradability) and are poorly dissolvable in water.
Therefore they have accumulated gradually in soils and sediments. There is also formation of dioxins and furans in case of a bad incineration.
What is at stake for man and animal?
Due to being very dissolvable in fats, these substances accumulate in the fatty tissues throughout the whole food chain. Man is infected by ingestion of animals or animal products, including milk, eggs and fish, contaminated with PCB.
In the world
What countries are involved?
The countries that have ratified the Stockholm Convention relating to the elimination of persistent organic pollutants (POP's) as well as the Basel Convention on the control of transportation and transboundary movements of hazardous waste and those countries with which there is a bilateral agreement, can export PCB-containing waste to have it treated at SUEZ PCB Decontamination.
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