In recent decades, some products that have been beneficial in solving construction problems eventually proved to be hazardous. Lead paint, asbestos and PCBs are just three of them. Most recently, PCBs have entered the public spotlight as a health hazard when on April 14, 2011 the EPA ordered its most far ranging set of regulations regarding the removal or containment of PCBs.
In the 1950’s Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) were introduced to the world as the ultimate in lubricating fine machinery and the best binding agent in caulk ever developed. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, PCB caulking was used extensively around windows and masonry joints in industrial, commercial and institutional buildings. While still permitted in some electrical machinery, PCBs were banned in 1979 for virtually all other applications.
Low level contamination is still widespread in both our indoor and outdoor environments. One way people are exposed to PCBs is by eating contaminated food such as fish that swim in polluted waters, or meat and dairy products from contaminated animals. Another way is through PCBs in building materials. As PCB-containing caulk deteriorates over time, it breaks down and turns to dust which can be inhaled or ingested. Workers who are renovating buildings or replacing windows that contain PCB caulking are at a very high risk of contamination. Exposure is cumulative, so even small exposures over time can lead to health problems. According to the EPA, PCBs affect the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems. Plus they are potentially cancer-causing if they build up in the body over long periods of time.
Alpine Environmental has had 20 years of success in lead paint treatment. The protocols for the safe removal and disposal of PCBs are similar. We now perform the safe remediation of PCBs as discovered by Industrial Hygienists and use project specific plans approved by the EPA. Please call us at 877-527-4040 for further information.
Address: Alpine Environmental, Inc.
21 Progress Ave. Suite #1
Chelmsford, MA 01824