Know the Facts – PCB Window Caulking

PCB Window CaulkingWhat are PCBs?

PCBs, Polychlorinated biphenyls, are a man-made chemical with non-flammability, chemical stability, a high boiling point, and electrical insulating properties.  These properties made PCBs a popular choice in industrial and commercial applications including electrical, heat transfer, and hydraulic equipment; and as plasticizers in paints, plastics, rubber products, and building caulk until they were banned from being manufactured in 1979.

What’s Dangerous About PCBs?

Prolonged exposure to PCBs can potentially cause cancer as well as have effects on your immune system, cause liver damage, endocrine disruption, and damage to the reproductive and nervous systems. You can learn more about the health effects of PCBs in this article.

Does All Caulk Contain PCBS?

No, PCBs were only used in some caulk primarily between 1950-1980. There is no conclusive evidence if it was only in caulk in certain geographic areas, and it was used in other building materials like paints, sealants and adhesives, so anytime you are working on a building you should test it to determine if the PCB levels in the air exceed the EPA’s suggested public health levels. If your testing shows that the PCB levels you need to be especially careful in implementing and monitoring practices to minimize exposures to PCBs. The EPA can assist you in developing a plan to reduce exposure and manage the caulk, here you can learn more about how they can help you.

REMEMBER: You cannot tell if caulk has PCBs by looking at it, and even PCB contaminated calk in visibly good condition may be a significant source of PCBs into the air.  The only way to be sure that caulk has PCBs in it is to test it.

If you have more questions about PCB Window Caulking visit the EPA’s website to learn more.

And if you’ve determined you do have PCB Window Caulking at your building or school or job site give us a call at 201.472.1030 and we can help you dispose of the contaminated material.

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