Monsanto PCB Lawsuit [2024 Update]

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Monsanto PCB Lawsuit Overview

On this page, we’ll discuss the Monsanto PCB Lawsuit, legal action for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), health effects of exposure to PCBs, and much more.

Monsanto PCB Exposure Lawsuit

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent organic pollutants that were manufactured primarily by Monsanto Co. between the 1930s and the 1970s, when they were banned under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

PCBs were used in a variety of commercial and industrial applications for their heat resistant properties.

Scientific evidence dating back to the days when PCBs were first implemented show that the chemicals were known to be toxic to human health and the environment.

Despite knowing that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) posed significant risks to human health, Monsanto distributed these chemicals worldwide.

Commercial PCB mixtures were used in electrical equipment such as electrical transformers, capacitors, fluorescent lighting fixtures, and more.

Our lawyers are currently investigating legal action for exposure to PCBs in school buildings, particularly from old fluorescent lighting fixtures and building materials that contained PCBs.

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If you or a loved one were exposed to PCBs as a student or worker, you may be eligible to file a PCB Lawsuit claim.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation with our PCB Lawyers today.

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

Monsanto has been facing numerous lawsuits for PCB exposures and other forms of environmental contamination over the years, and victims who have suffered health effects due to the company’s potentially negligent actions deserve justice and compensation.

Reach out to our attorneys for more information and to find out if you qualify to file a PCB Lawsuit claim.

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Table of Contents

Monsanto PCB Exposure Lawsuits

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were extensively produced from the 1920s to the late 1970s, primarily by Monsanto, which was one of the largest industrial chemical manufacturers in the world.

Monsanto’s production of PCBs played a pivotal role in the electrification of America, as these chemicals were widely used for their insulating properties in electrical equipment, contributing significantly to the expansion and efficiency of electrical systems nationwide.

However, due to their environmental and health risks, PCB production was eventually banned under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), leading to a shift in industrial practices and safety standards.

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Despite being banned decades ago, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) persist in various environments, resulting in the filing of numerous lawsuits against manufacturers, primarily Monsanto.

Individuals, schools, and government entities have filed these lawsuits due to exposure and contamination concerns.

Monsanto has faced significant financial repercussions, paying out substantial sums in both verdicts and settlements.

Our law firm is actively investigating cases of potential prolonged exposure to PCBs originating from fluorescent lighting fixtures, caulks, and other construction materials in the St. Louis area.

Our goal is to identify and address these exposures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those who spend significant time in these potentially contaminated buildings.

If you or a loved one were exposed to PCBs in a St. Louis school and subsequently developed health problems, you may be eligible to file a PCB Lawsuit and seek compensation.

Contact TorHoerman Law to learn more about our PCB Lawsuit investigation and for a free consultation.

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

What are Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBS)?

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of synthetic organic chemicals that were formerly used in industrial electrical equipment, electrical devices, and even some consumer products.

PCBs were produced in large quantities due to their chemical stability and electrical insulating properties.

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Monsanto was a key manufacturer of PCBs, contributing significantly to their widespread use after World War II.

The production of PCBs was eventually banned in 1976 by the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), primarily due to their environmental persistence and potential harmful health effects, despite their initial popularity for electrical insulation and stability.

Where Were PCBs Manufactured?

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), more than 1.25 billion pounds of PCBs were produced in the United States between 1929 and 1977.

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In the United States, key PCB manufacturing sites included:

  1. Sauget, Illinois: Located near St. Louis, Missouri, this site was another significant Monsanto facility involved in the production of PCBs.
  2. Anniston, Alabama: One of the most notable locations for PCB production. Monsanto’s facility in Anniston was a major center of PCB manufacturing for several decades.

At plants like those in Anniston, Alabama, and Sauget, Illinois, Monsanto was involved in the production of various PCB congeners alongside other chemicals.

Are There Different Types of PCBs?

A PCB congener refers to one of the multiple chemical forms in which polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) exist, distinguished by the number and position of chlorine atoms in their molecular structure.

There are 209 possible congeners, each with unique properties and levels of toxicity.

Different PCB mixtures were used for a range of applications, such as in electrical insulators, coolant fluids, and plasticizers, due to their chemical stability and non-flammability.

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Commercial PCB mixtures came in various forms, commonly known by the trade name “Aroclor.”

Each Aroclor product was a different mixture, identifiable by a four-digit number – the first two digits denoting the PCB molecule and the last two indicating the percentage of chlorine by weight.

For example, Aroclor 1254 contained 54% chlorine.

Where Were PCBs Used?

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were extensively utilized, particularly from the 1930s to the 1960s.

These substances represent a hidden yet integral component in the fabric of mid-20th-century life and technology.

It wasn’t until years after their implementation, when environmentalists and scientists began uncovering the harmful effects of these chemicals – from contamination of natural ecosystems to direct health risks such as cancer and reproductive issues – that the true cost of rampant PCB usage started to emerge.

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Their widespread use spanned a variety of sectors and applications, including but not limited to:

  • Hydraulic oils
  • Coolants and insulating fluids in electrical equipment
    • Transformers
    • Capacitors
    • Fluorescent lights
    • Voltage regulators
    • Switchgear devices
  • Plasticizers in paints, plastics, and rubber products
  • Caulking, elastic sealants, and adhesives
  • Flame retardants
  • Lubricants
  • Carbonless copy paper
  • Inks and dyes

Why Were Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) Used?

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) found diverse applications historically due to their unique chemical properties, particularly in industries where flammability was a concern.

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The diverse applications of PCBs and similar chemicals in large industries, ranging from electrical equipment to plastics, meant their use was widespread yet often unnoticed by the public.

It wasn’t until instances of catastrophic environmental contamination and emerging health issues became apparent that the veil was lifted on the extensive, yet largely hidden, impact of these chemicals.

PCBs in Schools: A Nationwide Issue

The prevalence of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in schools across the United States presents a nationwide concern for student and staff health.

An estimated 13,000 to 26,000 school buildings, constructed or renovated between the 1950s and 1970s when PCBs were widely used, potentially contain these toxic substances.

This issue is not confined to any single region, as PCBs in schools have been a matter of concern from coast to coast.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified schools as critical areas for PCB monitoring, emphasizing the urgency of this widespread issue.

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Educational facilities built during the peak years of PCB use incorporated these chemicals in various building materials, including caulking, lighting fixtures, and insulation.

The discovery of PCBs in school environments, such as the significant contamination found at Malibu High School in Southern California, underscores the scale and seriousness of this problem.

This nationwide issue necessitates comprehensive efforts for identification, remediation, and prevention to protect the health and safety of the school-going population.

How are People Exposed to PCBs in Schools?

People are exposed to PCBs in schools primarily through indoor air contaminated by PCB-emitting building materials, as highlighted by Herrick, Stewart, and Allen in their review on PCBs in US schools.

Individuals in schools face chronic exposure risks to PCBs due to the continuous presence of these toxic compounds in building materials like caulks, sealants, and fluorescent light ballasts, which release PCBs into the indoor environment over extended periods.

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Research presented at the 8th International PCB Workshop at Woods Hole, MA, emphasized that the PCB concentrations in schools can exceed those found near large PCB-contaminated industrial sites.

Research conducted by the University of Iowa Superfund Research Program stressed that airborne PCBs in schools are a significant health hazard, with levels often surpassing safety thresholds.

The presence of PCBs in paints, dust, and other secondary sources in schools further contributes to the inhalation and dermal exposure risks for children and educators.

These studies and community actions underscore the urgent need for comprehensive testing and remediation strategies to mitigate PCB exposure in educational settings.

Why Were PCBs Used in School Buildings?

PCBs were used in school buildings primarily for their advantageous properties such as durability, chemical stability, and electrical insulation capabilities.

These characteristics made PCBs desirable in a variety of building materials, including caulks, sealants, and certain types of fluorescent lighting fixtures.

Their non-flammability was a key factor, especially in ensuring fire safety in schools.

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PCBs also enhanced the longevity and performance of various materials, making them a cost-effective choice for long-term use in public buildings.

In window glazing and masonry materials, PCBs improved flexibility and water resistance, contributing to the structural integrity of school buildings.

However, at the time of their widespread use in construction, the environmental and health risks associated with PCBs were not fully recognized, leading to their extensive application in educational facilities.

How are PCBs Discovered in Schools?

PCBs in schools are often discovered through routine maintenance, renovation projects, or environmental assessments.

When older buildings undergo refurbishment, materials such as caulks, sealants, and lighting fixtures, common in construction prior to the 1980s, may tested for contaminants, including PCBs.

Elevated PCB levels are sometimes identified during these tests, prompting further investigation.

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PCBs are sometimes accidentally discovered in schools during renovations or maintenance work when previously undetected contaminated materials are disturbed or tested.

Additionally, air quality assessments in older school buildings can reveal the presence of PCBs, especially if they have been released from deteriorating materials.

In some instances, health concerns or symptoms reported by school occupants lead to environmental testing that uncovers PCB contamination.

These discoveries often necessitate a comprehensive plan for remediation to ensure the safety and health of the school environment.

Lawsuits for PCB Exposures in Schools

Exposed workers and students may be eligible to seek compensation for medical problems and illnesses linked to PCBs.

Lawsuits for PCB exposures in schools often target Monsanto, the primary manufacturer of PCBs, for their role in the distribution and widespread use of these chemicals.

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These legal actions typically argue that Monsanto was aware of the health risks associated with PCBs but continued to produce and sell them, leading to significant exposure and health issues in school environments.

Plaintiffs in these cases may seek compensation for health problems and illnesses directly linked to PCB exposure, emphasizing Monsanto’s responsibility in creating a public health hazard.

PCB Exposure: Related Human Health Effects and Risks

PCBs, recognized as potential occupational carcinogens, pose a significant risk to public health due to their toxic responses in the human body.

Studies by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have shown that PCBs accumulate in body fat over long periods, leading to an increased risk of various health issues.

The International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) classifies PCBs as probable human carcinogens, highlighting their potential to cause cancer in humans.

According to the National Toxicology Program, prolonged exposure to PCBs can result in several health complications, including problems related to the immune and reproductive systems.

There is also evidence suggesting that PCB exposure can lead to hearing impairment, adding to the spectrum of its detrimental health impacts.

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Medical tests are available to measure PCB levels in the body, which can help in assessing the extent of exposure and associated health risks.

These tests are particularly important for individuals in occupations with a higher likelihood of PCB exposure.

Overall, the persistence and bioaccumulation of PCBs make them a lasting concern in public health and environmental safety.

PCBs and Cancer

PCBs are known to be cancer-causing chemicals and have been linked to various forms of the disease.

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The occurrence of these hazardous compounds in certain environments poses significant risks for the development of:

  • Liver cancer: PCBs can induce liver damage that may escalate to cancerous growths.
  • Brain cancer: Studies have suggested a correlation between PCB exposure and the development of brain tumors.
  • Breast cancer: PCBs are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, particularly due to their tendency to accumulate in fatty tissues.
  • Biliary tract cancer: Exposure to PCBs has been linked to cancers affecting the biliary tract, which includes the gallbladder and bile ducts.
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma: There is evidence to suggest that PCB exposure can lead to this type of lymphatic system cancer.
  • Other types of cancer

PCBs occurred widely in various industrial and commercial settings before their risks were fully understood.

Their association with these types of cancers underlines the importance of ongoing monitoring and regulation to protect public health from these persistent environmental contaminants.

Other Health Effects of PCB Exposure

Exposure to Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) can lead to a wide spectrum of health concerns, affecting multiple organ systems and physiological functions.

These effects range from acute symptoms to long-term health conditions, highlighting the significant risk PCBs pose to human health.

The diversity of these health issues underscores the critical need for effective measures to limit exposure and manage the potential risks associated with these chemicals.

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Other adverse health effects linked to PCB exposure include:

  • Liver Damage: PCBs are known to cause liver toxicity, which can manifest as liver inflammation, fibrosis, and impaired liver function.
  • Immune System Effects: Exposure to PCBs can weaken the immune system, leading to increased susceptibility to infections, autoimmune diseases, and allergies.
  • Effects on Breast Milk and Birth Weight: PCBs can accumulate in breast milk, potentially affecting breastfeeding infants. This exposure has been linked to lower birth weights and developmental issues.
  • Menstrual Cycle Changes: Women exposed to higher levels of PCBs may experience alterations in menstrual cycle length, potentially affecting fertility.
  • Thyroid Hormone Disruption: PCBs can disrupt thyroid hormone production and regulation, leading to thyroid disorders like hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
  • Neurological and Developmental Issues: PCB exposure can lead to neurological deficits, particularly in developing children, including learning disabilities and behavioral changes.
  • Endocrine Disruption: PCBs interfere with hormone function, potentially leading to reproductive disorders and developmental problems.
  • Cardiovascular Problems: Some studies suggest a link between PCB exposure and an increased risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.
  • Respiratory Issues: Exposure to PCBs, especially in occupational settings, can lead to respiratory problems like bronchitis or reduced lung function.
  • Skin Conditions: PCB exposure can cause skin conditions like chloracne, characterized by acne-like eruptions and pigmentation changes.
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders: Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain have been associated with PCB exposure.
  • Effects on Vision and Hearing: There is evidence suggesting that PCB exposure can lead to vision problems and potentially contribute to hearing impairment.
  • Metabolic Disorders: PCBs may contribute to metabolic disruptions, potentially influencing conditions like diabetes.

Environmental Impacts of PCB Contamination

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) have profound and long-lasting environmental health consequences, largely due to their persistent nature and bioaccumulative properties.

The improper disposal of PCBs has led to widespread contamination of hazardous waste sites, significantly impacting soil and water quality.

These chemicals resist natural degradation processes, leading to their prolonged presence in the environment and causing ongoing ecological harm.

PCB contamination at hazardous waste sites can seep into groundwater, affecting the quality of drinking water sources and aquatic ecosystems.

The environmental health impact of PCBs is not localized but can extend over large areas, as these pollutants can be transported by water currents and wind.

The accumulation of PCBs in the food chain, particularly in fish and wildlife, poses a significant threat to biodiversity and the health of entire ecosystems.

Remediation efforts for PCB-contaminated sites are complex and costly, often requiring long-term management and monitoring.

The presence of PCBs in the environment serves as a reminder of the need for responsible chemical management and disposal to protect environmental health.

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PCB Soil Contamination

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) contamination in soil is a significant environmental concern, primarily due to the widespread use and disposal of PCB-laden materials in the past.

PCBs seep into the soil, often near old buildings, power stations, and industrial sites, leading to long-lasting contamination.

The stability and lipophilic nature of PCBs allow them to persist in the soil for decades, posing a risk of leaching into groundwater and entering the food chain.

Human exposure to PCB-contaminated soil can occur through direct contact, inhalation of dust, or ingestion of contaminated produce, posing serious health risks.

PCB exposure has been linked to various adverse health effects, including cancer, immune system damage, and developmental issues in children.

The complexity of PCBs, with their 209 congeners, complicates the remediation process, making soil decontamination a challenging task.

While advanced methods like nanoscale zero-valent iron (nZVI) and bimetallic systems show promise in PCB remediation, these techniques are often costly and may have environmental implications.

Addressing PCB contamination in soil requires a balanced approach that combines effective remediation strategies with measures to prevent human exposure and ecological damage.

PCB Water Contamination

PCB contaminated lakes, rivers, and other water systems pose a significant public health concern due to the toxic nature of these chemicals.

PCB contamination in Lake Michigan has resulted in advisories placed on fish consumption.

PCBs accumulate in the food chain, meaning they can concentrate in fish and other aquatic life, posing risks to humans and wildlife that consume them.

Laboratory animals and animal studies have consistently shown the adverse health effects of PCB exposure, reinforcing concerns for ecosystems and human health.

People who have consumed PCB contaminated fish or other food products from affected areas are at risk of various health issues.

Eating contaminated fish is particularly hazardous, as PCBs can bioaccumulate in fish tissue over time.

Several Superfund sites, designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are a response to the widespread issue of PCB contamination in aquatic environments.

Several Superfund sites established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) due to PCB contaminated waters include:

  • Hudson River, New York:  This Superfund Site was heavily contaminated due to PCB production by the Monsanto Chemical Corporation from 1929 to 1971. The local environment and residents experienced significant exposure, leading to health concerns and litigation.
  • Fox River, Wisconsin:  From the 1950s through the 1970s, several paper mills along the Fox River released PCBs into the water. The contamination led to health advisories on fish consumption and ultimately to the river’s designation as a Superfund site.
  • New Bedford Harbor, Massachusetts:  From the 1940s to the 1970s, two electrical capacitor manufacturing plants released PCBs into New Bedford Harbor. This resulted in contamination of fish and shellfish, prompting fishing restrictions and a cleanup effort worth over $1 billion.
  • Housatonic River, Massachusetts: The General Electric facility in Pittsfield released PCBs into the river, contaminating nearly two miles of the Housatonic. The contamination spread through the floodplain and affected wildlife, leading to its designation as a Superfund site.
  • Poplar Creek, Tennessee: Part of the larger Oak Ridge Reservation Superfund site, the Poplar Creek area saw PCB contamination due to the activities of the Y-12 National Security Complex. Cleanup efforts focus on soil, sediment, and surface water contamination.
  • St. Lawrence River, New York: The St. Lawrence River near Massena, NY, experienced PCB contamination due to discharge from two local industries. This resulted in fish advisories and extensive cleanup operations to protect the environment and public health.
  • Lake Hartwell, South Carolina: Contaminated by PCBs from a capacitor manufacturing plant located near the lake. The PCBs have settled in the sediment and fish, leading to advisories against consumption.
  • San Jacinto Waste Pits, Texas: Located on the San Jacinto River near Houston, these pits contain harmful toxins, including PCBs, that were dumped in the 1960s. Erosion and storm events have raised concerns about further spreading of the contamination, leading to its categorization as a Superfund site.
  • Harbor Island, Seattle, Washington:  A major urban industrial center, Harbor Island has seen contamination from various sources, including PCBs, and has been designated as a Superfund site. Remediation efforts are ongoing to address soil and groundwater contamination.
  • Moss Landing, California: This site along Monterey Bay was contaminated with PCBs from electrical transformers and other equipment, and is designated as a Superfund site. Cleanup efforts have involved removing and treating affected soils.

Eating contaminated food, drinking contaminated water, or being otherwise exposed to PCBs through water contamination could be dangerous to human health.

PCB Air Pollution

Breathing air contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls is extremely dangerous.

Historically, PCB exposure was predominantly associated with dietary ingestion, but recent studies have highlighted the importance of inhalational exposure, particularly in urban and industrial areas where PCB use was extensive.

A Review of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) Pollution in the Air: Where and How Much Are We Exposed to?” is a 2022 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health that analyzes airborne exposure to PCBs.

The study reveals several key insights:

  • Airborne PCBs, especially in urban and industrial environments, are often a result of volatilization from contaminated surfaces or the release during recycling and disposal processes, such as the burning and recycling of e-waste, which is now a major source of environmental PCB pollution.
  • The concentration of PCBs in indoor environments is frequently higher than outdoor levels, indicating that indoor sources, such as construction materials containing PCBs, significantly contribute to human exposure through contaminated air.
  • PCBs in the air are subject to long-range atmospheric transport, meaning they can be found in regions far from their original source of emission, contributing to global environmental contamination.
  • The study emphasizes the need for further research on the health impacts of prolonged exposure to low-concentration PCBs in the air, as well as developing and implementing effective strategies to mitigate this persistent environmental and public health issue.

Do You Qualify for the Monsanto PCB Lawsuit?

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

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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.

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 Lawsuits

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

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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 Claims

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

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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 Monsanto PCB Lawsuit Claims

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

  • Has Monsanto Paid PCB Settlements Before?

    Yes, Monsanto has paid settlements and found liable in jury verdicts for PCB exposures.

    The company, which was one of the primary manufacturers of PCBs until their ban in the 1970s, has faced numerous lawsuits alleging that its PCB products caused environmental damage and health issues.

    Recent litigation has been focused on the presence of PCBs in schools.

    Our law firm is currently investigating PCB exposure in school buildings.

    Beginning in 2018, students, parents, and faculty of Sky Valley Education Center in Washington State have filed lawsuits against Monsanto for PCB exposure in the school.

    Trials have resulted in verdicts awarded to plaintiffs of $857 million, $275 million, $185 million, and other verdicts totaling over $1.5 billion.

    The majority of plaintiffs worked at or attended Sky Valley Education Center during the 2010s.

    More trials are expected.

  • Are PCBs Banned?

    PCBs were banned under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

    The specific language outlined in the TSCA states that “..effective one year after January 1, 1977, no person may manufacture, process or distribute in commerce or use any polychlorinated biphenyl in any manner other than in a totally enclosed manner.”

    Although PCBs were banned for production and distribution officially in 1978, they still remain in many buildings, natural environments, animals, and products to this day.

    Remediation projects for natural environments and hazardous waste sites contaminated by PCBs have been costly and widespread, often funded by settlements made with Monsanto and its spin-off companies.

    Schools across the country all face the imminent dangers of potential PCB contamination, due to building materials and fluorescent lights used across America in the 20th century.

  • Where are PCBs Found?

    PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) are found in various environments due to their extensive use in industrial and commercial applications before their ban in the late 1970s.

    PCBs are found in the following products and areas:

    • Old fluorescent lighting fixtures: Common in buildings constructed before the ban of PCBs.
    • Construction materials: Including caulk, paint, and sealants used in older structures.
    • Electrical equipment: Such as transformers and capacitors that utilized PCBs as insulating fluids.
    • Hydraulic fluids and sealants: Used in various industrial and commercial applications.
    • Environmental reservoirs: Present in soil, water bodies (lakes, rivers, coastal areas), and sediments due to improper disposal and leaks.
    • Food chain: Accumulating in the tissues of animals and fish, leading to potential human exposure through consumption.
    • Industrial sites: Especially in areas where PCB-containing products were manufactured or heavily used.
    • Waste disposal areas: Including landfills that received PCB-contaminated materials.
    • Indoor air pollution: In older buildings with PCB-containing materials, contributing to indoor air quality concerns.
    • E-waste recycling areas: Due to the dismantling and burning of electronics, which can release PCBs.

  • Why Were Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) Used?

    Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) were extensively used due to their excellent chemical stability and insulating properties, making them ideal for a wide range of industrial and commercial applications.

    Their ability to withstand high temperatures and resist electrical currents led to their prevalent use in electrical equipment like transformers and capacitors

    PCBs were favored in construction materials, such as caulks and sealants, for their durability and flexibility.

    The compounds also found use as hydraulic fluids, plasticizers, and in other roles where their resistance to degradation was beneficial.

    Despite these useful properties, the environmental and health hazards associated with PCBs eventually led to their widespread ban and ongoing efforts for remediation.

  • How Do PCBs Affect Human Health?

    According to several public health agencies, PCBs are a probable human carcinogen.

    Scientific studies and internal records from Monsanto have shown that the human health risks associated with PCB exposure have been known for decades, even before they were banned.

    Possible health effects of exposure to PCBs include:

    • Liver damage
    • Liver cancer
    • Breast cancer
    • Brain cancer
    • Non-hodgkin’s lymphoma
    • Neurological disorders
    • Developmental disorders
    • Endocrine disorders
    • Immune system dysfunction
    • Thyroid issues
    • and several other possible health effects

  • Do PCBs Cause Cancer?

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been designated as a potential occupational carcinogen by multiple health agencies.

    Studies and research have linked PCB exposure to an increased risk of various types of cancer.

    The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies PCBs as Group 1 carcinogens, indicating sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans.

    This classification is based on associations observed between PCB exposure and cancers such as melanoma, liver, gallbladder, biliary tract, gastrointestinal tract, brain, and breast cancers.

    Long-term exposure to PCBs, particularly through occupational contact or environmental pollution, is a significant health concern due to these potential carcinogenic effects.

Written By:
Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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