Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCBs)
Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCBs): Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCBs) are highly toxic human-engineered chlorinated hydrocarbons that have been used around the world as enhancers to hydraulic oil and electrical insulators. PCBs were applied for maintaining low flammability rates, high boiling points, and stronger chemical stability. As of 1979, PCBs have been banned from use in the United States and many other nations due to carcinogenicity, high rates of pollution and contamination through environmental systems and animals, and its long-lasting degrading timeframes once introduced into the environment. Polychlorinated biphenyls, mostly comprise carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine atoms, and are commonly found within hydraulic fluid systems, electrical transformers, capacitors, coolants, and plasticizers. Additionally, PCBs can exist in carbon-less copy-paper, as well as plastic and rubber products.
PCBs are negatively impacting the planet in the forms of soil contamination, groundwater and stormwater pollution, as well as oceanic, lake body, and river system pollution. The substance is highly stable and highly mobile. Thus, it becomes a long-lasting contaminant that transports into various ecological systems after being released at a commercial or industrial site. As a result of polychlorinated biphenyl pollution, animal wildlife and human populations are experiencing health effects such as cancer, birthing defects, reproductive organ failure, comprised immune systems, and central and overall nervous system impacts.
PCBs Soil & Groundwater Contamination
As part of the Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment process, the environmental professional can identify underground hydraulic lifts and hydraulic oil tanks. And per the ASTM E1527 standard, the mere possibility of hydraulic oil leaking from each hoist constitutes a “recognized environmental condition.” As a result, a Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment is likely to occur, to directly sample the subsurface for soil contamination, using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Laboratory Analysis Method 8082. This method aims to identify the full range of polychlorinated biphenyls, from PCB-1016 through PCB-1260. Lastly, a professional geologist studies each detection of PCBs along with the applicable screening level for that region. If soil and groundwater contamination is present, a remedial action plan is then prepared to remove the hydraulic lifts and clean up the PCBs soil contamination issue.
Full Range of Polychlorinated Biphenyls