Polychlorinated Biphenyls lurk in unexpected places, like in caulking. Got glass from the seventies? The caulking likely contains PCBs.
PCB’s are no longer commercially produced in the United States but may be present in products and materials produced before the PCB ban went into effect in 1979.
PCBs can be found in fluorescent light ballasts, cable insulation, thermal insulation including fiberglass, felt, foam, and cork, adhesives and tapes, oil-based paint, caulking, plastic, floor finish and in other applications.
According to the EPA, PCBs have been demonstrated to “cause a variety of adverse health effects. PCBs have been shown to cause cancer in animals. PCBs have also been shown to cause a number of serious non-cancer health effects in animals, including effects on the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, endocrine system and other health effects. Studies in humans provide supportive evidence for potential carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic effects of PCBs. The different health effects of PCBs may be interrelated, as alterations in one system may have significant implications for the other systems of the body.“