In the U.S. polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were widely used by industry beginning in the 1920s until 1979 when production was banned.  The most common PCBs were sold under the trade name Aroclor followed by a number to designate the percent of chlorine by weight in the mixture.

PCBs are most commonly found in:

  • Caulking
  • Oil-based paint
  • Transformers and capacitors
  • Other electrical equipment including voltage regulators, switches, reclosers, bushings, and electromagnets
  • Oil used in motors and hydraulic systems
  • Old electrical devices or appliances containing PCB capacitors
  • Fluorescent light ballasts
  • Cable insulation
  • Thermal insulation material including fiberglass, felt, foam, and cork
  • Adhesives and tapes
  • Plastics
  • Carbonless copy paper
  • Floor finish

Once in the environment, PCBs do not readily break down and therefore may remain for long periods of time cycling between air, water, and soil. PCBs can be carried long distances and have been found in snow and sea water in areas far away from where they were released into the environment. As a consequence, PCBs are found all over the world. In general, the lighter the form of PCB, the further it can be transported from the source of contamination.

PCB analysis at EHS Laboratories is performed in accordance with EPA method 8082 (Caulk, Paint, Soil, Wipe and Oil) or NIOSH method 5503 (Air)

Below you will find the list of PCB Aroclors offered for analysis by EHS Laboratories:

  • Aroclor 1016
  • Aroclor 1221
  • Aroclor 1232
  • Aroclor 1242
  • Aroclor 1248
  • Aroclor 1254
  • Aroclor 1260

Please contact Kathy Harris to discuss your sampling needs or project specific requirements.