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PCB Lawsuit [July 2024 Guide] | PCB Exposure & Health Effects

Lawyers are investigating health problems resulting from exposure to PCBs in schools.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

Key takeaways:

  • PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) are man-made chemicals that were widely used in various industries until they were banned in 1979 due to their toxic nature and potential health risks.

  • Exposure to PCBs can lead to serious health issues, including cancer, reproductive problems, and immune system disorders.

  • Lawsuits related to PCB exposure claim that manufacturers knew about the dangers but failed to warn the public, leading to numerous settlements and verdicts in favor of the victims.

Most Recent Updates:

  • The punitive damages against Monsanto in the Washington PCB lawsuit were halved from $857 million to $438 million, following legal scrutiny on excessive punitive awards.

  • The court maintained $73 million in compensatory damages for neurological and endocrine disorders among PCB-exposed individuals at a Seattle school.

  • Our firm continues to investigate PCB exposure cases in St. Louis area schools and welcomes new clients seeking to file claims related to PCB-related health issues.

Intro to the PCB Lawsuit

On this page, we‘ll discuss the PCB lawsuit investigation, estimated PCB Lawsuit settlement amounts, health problems linked to PCB exposures, eligibility for PCB Exposure Lawsuit claims, and much more.

PCB Lawsuit Investigation: PCB Contamination in Schools Linked to Health Problems

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are toxic substances that were historically used in industrial and commercial applications until their production was banned or restricted.

PCBs are often found in building materials, electrical equipment (transformers, capacitors), hydraulic fluids, heat transfer fluids, lubricants, plasticizers, pigments, and carbonless copy paper.

PCB Lawsuit PCB Exposure & Health Effects
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These chemicals have been used in some building materials and old fluorescent lighting fixtures that have been found in school buildings across the United States.

School children and educators may be among those most chronically exposed to PCBs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), PCBs tend to accumulate in the body with extended and chronic exposure.

If you or a loved one were exposed to PCBs in a work or school setting and subsequently suffered health problems, you may be eligible to file a PCB Exposure Lawsuit claim.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page for a free case evaluation.

Our law firm is committed to helping people harmed at no fault of their own seek financial compensation for what they’ve experienced.

Reach out to us for more information and to find out how our PCB Lawyers can help you.

Table of Contents
PCB Lawsuit PCB Exposure & Health Effects

Lawsuit Updates

June 26, 2024

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), harmful industrial chemicals, have been found in several school buildings constructed before 1980, posing significant health risks.

These chemicals were commonly used in building materials like caulk and fluorescent light fixtures.

As these materials degrade, PCBs are released as vapor or dust, which can be inhaled by students and staff.

In Hartford, Vermont, state air quality testing revealed PCB contamination in 28 rooms across Hartford High School and the career and technical center buildings.

Nine rooms exceeded the safety threshold, necessitating evacuation, while 19 others required restricted use and increased airflow to minimize exposure.

This follows Act 74, a 2021 Vermont mandate requiring all pre-1980 school buildings to be tested for PCBs. Over 40 schools in Vermont have reported unsafe PCB levels.

PCBs are linked to cancer, reproductive issues, immune system suppression, and thyroid hormone disruptions.

The health risks are substantial for both children and adults, with the highest concerns in environments like schools where exposure can be prolonged and continuous.

TorHoerman Law is actively investigating PCB exposure in schools, addressing similar contamination concerns. 

If you or a loved one were exposed to PCBs in a work or school setting and subsequently suffered health problems, you may be eligible to file a PCB Exposure Lawsuit claim.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page for a free case evaluation.

June 26, 2024
June 18, 2024

Significant steps are being taken to address the contamination in response to the discovery of toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at NC State University’s Poe Hall.

Detected during preliminary tests in November, PCBs—banned in the U.S. since 1979 due to their cancer risk—necessitated the closure of the building out of caution.

The potential health effects of PCB exposure include cancer, immune effects, reproductive risks, neurological issues, and endocrine effects.

While PCBs were originally used in construction materials, they have since led to large legislative action.

The North Carolina House recently proposed allocating up to $180 million for renovations, starting with an initial $5 million for design and engineering in the 2024-25 fiscal year.

Chancellor Randy Woodson of NC State has highlighted ongoing costs for testing and anticipates the building will remain closed through the year’s end.

Further testing identified the PCBs within the building’s HVAC system’s insulation, with concentrations ranging widely from 0.91 to 53,000 ppm.

Federal regulations mandate the removal of materials containing PCB concentrations over 500 ppm once identified.

The university is committed to complying with all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements, balancing the costs of extensive renovations against the potential need for new construction.

Chancellor Woodson remarked on the financial challenges, noting the lack of substantial funds for either scenario.

As NC State plans its next steps, including possible expedited renovations, the university community and stakeholders await further updates on the remediation efforts and the future of Poe Hall.

If you or a loved one has suffered from health problems as a result of PCB exposure in a school building, you may be eligible to file a claim.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation, or use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for the PCB Exposure Lawsuit instantly.

June 18, 2024
June 6, 2024

In a recent ruling, a North Carolina state appeals court ordered North Carolina State University to permit an independent investigation into Poe Hall, following persistent concerns over air quality and potential PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) contamination.

This decision, rendered on June 5, 2024, mandates thorough testing by an independent investigator, particularly focusing on the building’s HVAC supply ducts, identified as a primary source of PCB exposure.

Polychlorinated biphenyls, commonly known as PCBs, are industrial chemicals linked to Cancer, Reproductive and developmental toxicity, Fatty liver, Genotoxicity, and other Immunosuppressive effects.

Although recent tests indicated that PCB levels in Poe Hall do not surpass the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) safety thresholds, the university took preemptive action by closing the facility in November of the previous year after initial tests confirmed the presence of these carcinogens.

The forthcoming independent investigation will aim to provide a conclusive analysis of the contamination levels and potential health risks posed by prolonged exposure to PCBs within Poe Hall.

As the investigation progresses, the findings could have considerable implications for future regulatory actions and health safety standards, not only for North Carolina State University but for similar institutions facing related challenges.

If you or a loved one has suffered from health problems as a result of PCB exposure in a school building, you may be eligible to file a claim.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation, or use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for the PCB Exposure Lawsuit instantly.

June 6, 2024
June 4, 2024

Recent testing at Poe Hall on the campus of North Carolina State University, conducted with the HVAC system operational, confirms that levels of the PCB compound Aroclor-1262 remain below the EPA’s safety thresholds for school indoor environments, despite a detectable increase from earlier measures.

This second phase of testing identified a gold-colored insulation sealant used in the supply ducts as the likely primary source of these PCBs.

PCBs disrupt thyroid and reproductive function in both men and women and elevate the risk of cardiovascular and liver diseases, as well as diabetes, women exposed to PCBs face an increased likelihood of delivering low-birth-weight infants.

PCBs were used in the construction materials of school buildings nationwide, from elementary schools to universities.

These chemicals were often placed in caulking, sealants, window glazings, fluorescent light ballasts, and other materials due to their strength and elasticity.

Despite their widespread use and purpose in construction, PCBs have been associated with serious health issues.

PCBs were banned by the government in the late 1970s but remain a health risk to this day.

If you or a loved one has suffered from health problems as a result of PCB exposure in a school building, you may be eligible to file a claim.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation, or use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for the PCB Exposure Lawsuit instantly. 

June 4, 2024

PCB Lawsuit Investigation Overview

Our attorneys are currently investigating the potential PCB Litigation, conducting free consultations with students and workers exposed to PCBs.

As we’ll discuss further in this piece, PCBs have been linked to several adverse health effects and are labeled as probable human carcinogens.

PCB Lawsuit Investigation Overview

PCB concentrations are high in older school buildings and other buildings that use old fluorescent lighting fixtures.

Our lawyers are currently investigating PCB exposures in St. Louis area schools.

If you were exposed to PCBs at work or school and subsequently suffered health effects, you may be eligible to file a PCB Lawsuit claim. 

Contact our law firm for a free consultation. 

Use the chatbot on this page for a free and instant case evaluation. 

What are Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)?

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of man-made organic chemicals consisting of carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine atoms, known for their chemical stability and resistance to heat.

PCBs were widely used in various industrial and commercial applications, including in electrical transformers and capacitors, due to their excellent insulation properties against electricity and heat.

PCBs were also used in hydraulic systems, lubricants, paints, plasticizers, and even fluorescent light ballasts, making them ubiquitous in mid-20th century manufacturing and building materials.

Monsanto began commercial production of the chemical in 1929, and was instrumental in the widespread distribution and use of PCBs globally.

Monsanto’s production practices led to significant environmental contamination, notably in places like Anniston, AL and Sauget, IL, where the disposal of PCBs resulted in extensive soil and water pollution.

PCBs are known to bioaccumulate in the environment, particularly in the fatty tissues of living organisms, leading to their presence in food chains and a significant ecological impact.

Exposure to PCBs poses potential health risks to humans, including cancer, immune system suppression, reproductive and developmental problems, and endocrine disruption.

As a result of these hazards, PCB production was banned in the United States in 1976 under the Toxic Substances Control Act, but their persistence in the environment continues to be a concern.

Cleanup efforts for PCB contamination are complex and ongoing, as seen in EPA Superfund sites across the country, where extensive remediation is required to mitigate their impact.

PCBs remain a stark example of the long-term environmental and health consequences of widespread chemical use without adequate understanding of their ecological and human health effects.

What Companies Produced PCBs?

Over the course of the 20th century, numerous companies used PCBs in electrical equipment, electrical devices, hydraulic systems, heat transfer fluids, paints and plastics, sealants, caulks, and various other industrial and commercial applications.

Monsanto was the primary manufacturer of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from the 1930s until they were banned in the 1970s.

The only other company to have ever produced PCBs in the United States was Geneva Industries of Houston, TX, which manufactured PCBs for heat transfer applications from 1972-1974.

Monsanto has been named in countless lawsuits due to its role in the manufacture and distribution of PCBs in the United States.

Lawsuits filed against Monsanto for PCB contamination and exposures have centered on allegations that Monsanto was aware of the environmental and health risks associated with PCBs but continued to promote and sell them.

Apart from the recent legal actions for PCBs in schools, several PCB Lawsuits have been filed by government entities across the country have sought compensation for environmental contamination and remediation.

Individual PCB Lawsuits have also been filed by people who have suffered occupational exposure to PCBs.

Where are PCBs Found?

PCBs can be found in various locations due to their historical use and persistence in the environment.

Here are some common sources where PCBs can be present:

  1. Electrical Equipment: PCBs were extensively used as insulating fluids in electrical transformers and capacitors. Old electrical equipment, especially those manufactured before the ban, may still contain PCBs.
  2. Industrial Sites: Manufacturing facilities, chemical plants, and other industrial sites where PCBs were used or produced may have residual contamination in the soil, water, or nearby areas.
  3. Buildings and Construction Materials: PCBs were added to building materials like caulking, paints, sealants, and plastics to improve their durability and fire resistance. Older structures may still have these PCB-containing materials.
  4. Natural Environment: PCBs are persistent pollutants and can accumulate in soil, sediment, and water bodies. They can enter the environment through industrial releases, improper disposal, and atmospheric deposition.
  5. Food and Food Chain: PCBs can bioaccumulate in the food chain, particularly in fish and other seafood. Predatory fish at the top of the food chain tend to have higher PCB concentrations.
  6. Consumer Products: Although their use has been banned or restricted, some consumer products manufactured before the regulations may still contain traces of PCBs. These products include carbonless copy paper, pigments, lubricants, and plasticizers.

PCBs in Schools: A Nationwide Public Health Concern

According to research conducted by the Iowa Superfund Research Program (ISRP), the worst case for human exposure to PCBs is a school room.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), while less widely known than other toxic substances like lead and asbestos, represent a significant health and environmental challenge, especially in the context of the United States’ aging school infrastructure.

The federal ban did not eliminate PCBs from existing structures; hence, many school buildings constructed or remodeled during this period are likely to still contain these hazardous chemicals.

PCBs in schools were primarily used to enhance the durability of building materials such as caulk and insulation and found utility in electrical equipment due to their insulating properties.

A 2016 study estimated that between 13,000 and 26,000 school buildings in the United States contain building caulk, fluorescent lights, or other materials laced with PCBs.

This widespread prevalence is alarming, considering the health risks to students and educators who spend considerable time in these environments.

The challenge of remediating PCBs in schools is daunting, often involving extensive renovations or complete building replacements, burdened by high costs.

This problem is exacerbated in underfunded districts, typically in low-income or minority communities, which may struggle to keep pace with necessary infrastructure updates, thereby widening health disparities.

The ambiguity surrounding the extent of PCB usage, due to unclear or lost historical records, adds another layer of complexity to identifying and addressing the issue.

At the federal level, there’s a significant gap in the mandate for PCB testing and remediation in schools, leaving the responsibility primarily to local authorities and states.

While some states, like Vermont, have initiated laws for mandatory PCB testing in older school buildings, a nationwide, unified approach is lacking.

With the potential cost of nationwide PCB remediation in schools estimated to be between $25 billion to $50 billion, the issue highlights the need for federal support and intervention.

Increasing awareness about the presence and dangers of PCBs in school environments, coupled with a push for comprehensive federal and state-level action, is imperative.

It’s crucial to protect the health and well-being of the nation’s children and educators, who remain vulnerable to the long-term effects of these toxic compounds.

Where are PCBs Found in Schools?

In schools, particularly those constructed or renovated between the 1950s and 1980s, PCBs are often embedded in various materials due to their widespread use in the past.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in schools are often found in:

  • Fluorescent Light Ballasts (FLBs)
  • Caulking, Sealants, and Window Glazing
  • Potentially other building materials, such as:
    • Flooring
    • Ceiling tiles
    • Electrical equipment and devices
    • Paints and varnishes

How are People Exposed to PCBs in Schools?

Exposure to PCBs in schools occurs through various routes, primarily due to the degradation of materials.

Exposure to PCBs in school environments occurs through:

  1. Airborne Contamination: PCBs from deteriorating materials can volatilize, contaminating the air. This risk is heightened in buildings with PCB-containing materials, regardless of their disturbance.
  2. Direct Contact: Handling or contact with PCB-laden materials, like old caulks or paints.
  3. Environmental Transfer: PCBs can transfer from contaminated materials to surfaces, leading to indirect exposure.

How are PCBs Discovered in Schools?

The discovery of PCBs in schools often occurs incidentally and can be triggered by several scenarios:

  • Maintenance and Renovation Projects: PCBs are frequently uncovered accidentally during construction, renovation, or maintenance activities in older buildings.
  • Health Investigations: Unexplained health issues among students or staff can lead to environmental testing, uncovering PCB presence.
  • Routine Inspections: While not as common, some schools undergo environmental health inspections where PCBs might be detected.
  • Proactive Assessments: In rare cases, schools built or remodeled during the height of PCB use may undergo proactive assessments for these compounds.

Schools built or renovated during the peak PCB production years should particularly be subject to testing and remediation efforts.

Effective detection and remediation are crucial to reduce PCB exposure risks in educational environments.

PCB Health Effects: What Health Problems are Linked to PCB Exposures?

Exposure to PCBs has been linked to a number of potential health effects.

PCBs accumulate in the body, so chronic exposure to PCBs may be especially dangerous.

These health effects have been well-documented by scientific and governmental agencies for decades.

The first available data on the toxicity of PCBs was published in 1931, and studies throughout the following decades began to build a massive body of evidence to suggest that PCBs are extremely dangerous to human health and the environment.

PCB Health Effects_ What Health Problems Are Linked To PCB Exposures

Prolonged inhalation of PCBs in school environments, particularly from deteriorating materials, can lead to systemic health issues, affecting various bodily systems over time.

Direct skin contact with surfaces containing PCBs in educational settings, such as sealants and paints, poses risks of dermal absorption, potentially leading to skin-related conditions and other systemic health effects.

Indirect exposure to PCBs, through secondary contact with contaminated objects or surfaces within school premises, can contribute to cumulative health risks, especially in children whose developing bodies are more susceptible to toxic substances.

Potential Health Effects of PCB Exposure:

  • Developmental and Neurological Effects
  • Endocrine Disruption
  • Immune System Dysfunction
  • Reproductive Disorders
  • Carcinogenicity
  • Liver Damage
  • Skin Conditions
  • Respiratory Issues

The diverse health effects associated with PCB exposure, ranging from cancer to immune and reproductive system impacts, continue to pose significant risks due to the compounds’ accumulation and persistence in the environment and within biological systems.

Why PCBs are Dangerous

The insidious nature of PCBs in school environments extends beyond basic toxicity, revealing deeper, systemic concerns.

Advanced studies underscore the complexities of PCB interaction with human biology, particularly in younger populations who spend significant time in school settings.

Understanding the risks associated with PCBs in schools requires a focus on their unique impact on health, particularly in young and developing bodies:

  1. Long-Term Exposure Risks: PCBs persist in school environments, leading to ongoing exposure. Over time, this can result in significant accumulation in the body, with the potential for more severe health effects, especially in children who are still developing.
  2. Hormonal and Developmental Interference: PCBs disrupt hormonal balance and can adversely affect neurological development in students. This disruption can impact learning, behavior, and overall developmental progress, making exposure in schools particularly concerning.
  3. Increased Cancer Risk: The carcinogenic nature of PCBs means that prolonged exposure in school settings can heighten the risk of developing cancer later in life, especially since children are more susceptible to environmental toxins.
  4. Environmental Spread and Indirect Exposure: PCBs can migrate from building materials into the air and onto surfaces, leading to indirect exposure risks. This environmental spread makes it challenging to fully control exposure within a school setting.
  5. Impact on Sensitive Populations: The presence of PCBs in schools can have a more pronounced effect on populations with pre-existing health conditions or those who are more vulnerable due to age or developmental stage. It’s crucial for schools to address these risks to protect all students.

If you’ve been exposed to PCBs in schools and suffered health effects, you may be eligible to file a PCB Lawsuit claim.

Contact us for a free consultation or use the chatbot on this page.

Scientific Studies on Exposure to PCBs and Subsequent Health Effects

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to PCBs has been linked to numerous health concerns including cancer.

Being chronically exposed to PCBs or eating contaminated food can result in several health problems.

Below are a number of scientific studies on PCB exposure and its related health effects:

Do You Qualify for a PCB Exposure Lawsuit Claim?

PCBs present in electrical equipment, schools, and older buildings may be putting public health at risk.

If you or a loved one were exposed to PCBs and subsequently developed cancer or other health effects, you may be eligible to file a PCB Lawsuit claim.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page for an instant case evaluation.

Do You Qualify For A PCB Exposure Lawsuit Claim

Our attorneys are here to help you through the lawsuit process and protect your rights.

Your PCB Lawyer can help you gather evidence for your claim and assess damages related to PCB exposure.

Gathering Evidence for PCB Exposure Claims

Evidence is important for any mass tort or personal injury case.

In a PCB exposure case, evidence could include the following:

  • Medical records
  • Employment records
  • School records
  • Residential information
  • Any other proof of exposure to PCBs and subsequent health effects

Assessing Damages for PCB Exposure

Damages refer to the total amount of losses related to being exposed to PCBs and the health effects that may be related.

Damages in a potential PCB Lawsuit may include:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional damages
  • Lost quality of life
  • Permanent disability
  • Other compensatory and punitive damages

TorHoerman Law: Investigating Litigation for PCB Exposures

Our law firm is currently investigating potential litigation for those suffering from exposure to PCBs.

If you or a loved one were exposed to PCBs and subsequently developed health problems, you may be eligible to file a PCB Lawsuit claim.

Contact TorHoerman Law for more information.

You can also use the chatbot on this page for a free and instant case evaluation.

Reach out to us for more information.

We’re here to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is there a PCB lawsuit for PCB exposures?

    There have been class actions lawsuits and personal injury claims filed against he manufacturers of PCBs.

    While we haven’t seen a more widespread and noteworthy settlement or litigation for PCB exposures, our attorneys are still speaking to people who believe their health problems are linked to exposure to PCBs.

    If you or a loved one were exposed to PCBs and subsequently developed health problems, you may be eligible to file a PCB Exposure Lawsuit claim.

    Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

    You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a PCB Lawsuit claim.

  • What are PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls)?

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of synthetic organic chemicals, called chlorinated hydrocarbons, that were manufactured and widely used in various industrial and commercial applications from the 1930s until their production was banned through the Toxic Substances Control Act in 1979.

    PCBs are known for their toxic properties and environmental persistence.

    They are composed of biphenyl molecules to which chlorine atoms are attached, resulting in different forms or congeners with varying degrees of chlorination.

    PCBs were favored for their desirable physical and chemical properties, such as thermal stability, electrical insulation, and flame retardancy.

    These chemicals were primarily used as coolants and lubricants in electrical equipment.

    Their negative impact on human health and the environment led to the implementation of regulations to restrict their use and manage their disposal.

  • What Health Effects are Linked to PCB Exposure?

    Exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) has been associated with various health effects.

    Here are some of the known health effects linked to PCB exposure:

    • Developmental and Neurological Effects:  PCB exposure, particularly during early life stages, has been linked to developmental and neurological problems in children. This includes impaired cognitive development, reduced IQ, learning disabilities, and behavioral disorders.
    • Endocrine Disruption:  PCBs are known to disrupt the endocrine system, which regulates hormone production and function. They can interfere with the normal functioning of hormones, leading to hormonal imbalances and associated health issues.
    • Reproductive Disorders:  PCBs have been associated with reproductive disorders in both males and females. These include reduced fertility, decreased sperm quality, menstrual irregularities, and hormonal disruptions that can affect normal reproductive function.
    • Immune System Dysfunction:  PCBs can negatively impact the immune system, leading to impaired immune response and increased susceptibility to infections, allergies, and autoimmune diseases.
    • Carcinogenicity:  PCBs have been classified as probable human carcinogens. Prolonged exposure to certain PCB congeners has been associated with an increased risk of various cancers, including liver cancer, lung cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
    • Liver Damage:  PCBs are known to cause liver toxicity. Prolonged exposure can lead to liver damage, including inflammation, fibrosis, and impaired liver function.
    • Skin Conditions:  PCB exposure has been linked to skin problems such as chloracne, a severe acne-like skin condition characterized by the development of lesions on the face, neck, and other body parts.
    • Respiratory Issues:  PCB exposure has been associated with respiratory symptoms, including coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.

    It’s important to note that the health effects of PCB exposure can vary depending on the level and duration of exposure, as well as individual susceptibility.

  • Are PCBs Banned in the United States?

    Yes, PCBs are banned in the United States.

    PCBs were banned in 1979, and plans were made to properly dispose of these toxic substances and use alternatives.

    However, PCBs are still found in some older buildings, products, manufacturing process, and other use cases.

  • How are PCBs Removed and Disposed Of?

    The removal and disposal of PCB waste requires careful handling to prevent further contamination and potential health and environmental risks.

    Here are the general steps involved in PCB removal and disposal:

    • Identification and assessment of PCB-containing materials.
    • Remediation or decontamination efforts, if feasible.
    • Segregation and proper packaging of PCB-containing materials.
    • Disposal in licensed facilities specialized in handling hazardous waste.
    • Compliance with legal requirements and regulations for PCB removal and disposal.

  • How are People Exposed to PCBs?

    Exposure to PCBs can occur through the workplace or environmental sources, such as PCB contaminated fish.

    Those who have been exposed to PCBs tend to be the following groups:

    • Workers in industries where PCBs were historically used, such as electrical equipment manufacturing or repair, may be exposed through direct contact with PCB-containing materials or equipment.
    • Students and faculty in old school buildings where PCBs were used in old fluorescent lighting fixtures and building materials.
    • Individuals living near industrial sites or hazardous waste sites where PCBs were released or disposed of improperly may be exposed through environmental contamination.
    • Eating contaminated fish, meat, or dairy products may be exposed to PCBs through food.
    • PCBs can also be passed from mother to child during pregnancy and breastfeeding, resulting in exposure for infants.

  • What is a PCB Congener?

    PCB congeners are individual chemical compounds that belong to the group of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

    PCB congeners are formed by varying the number and position of chlorine atoms attached to the biphenyl structure.

    Different congeners have distinct combinations and arrangements of chlorine atoms, resulting in unique chemical properties and potential health effects.

    The term “congener” is used to describe the specific variant of a chemical compound within a larger group or family.

    In the case of PCBs, congeners refer to the different forms or types of PCB compounds that exist.

    Each PCB congener has its own set of characteristics, such as its level of chlorination, stability, persistence in the environment, and potential for bioaccumulation.

    Some congeners are more prevalent in the environment due to historical usage, while others may be more toxic or persistent.

    It is important to note that different PCB congeners can have varying degrees of toxicity and environmental impact.

    Some congeners have been found to be more harmful to human health and the environment than others, and their presence in PCB mixtures can influence the overall risk and potential effects associated with exposure to these chemicals.

  • What are the Different Types of Commercial PCB Mixtures?

    PCB mixtures, commonly known by the trade name Aroclor Series, were typically manufactured as a combination of different PCB congeners.

    These mixtures were created by gradually adding chlorine to batches of biphenyl until reaching a specific target chlorine percentage by weight.

    While commercial mixtures with higher chlorine percentages contained a greater proportion of heavily chlorinated congeners, all mixtures were expected to contain various congeners at different levels.

    Although PCBs were sold under different names, the Aroclor series was the most prevalent.

    Aroclor, a well-known PCB mixture, was produced between approximately 1930 and 1979.

    It encompasses various types, each distinguished by a suffix number representing the degree of chlorination. The numbering convention for different Aroclors follows this pattern:

    The first two digits typically indicate the number of carbon atoms in the phenyl rings (in the case of PCBs, this is 12).

    The second two numbers indicate the approximate chlorine percentage by weight in the mixture.

    For example, Aroclor 1254 suggests that the mixture contains approximately 54% chlorine.

Written By:
Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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