WHAT ARE PCBs?
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), which were first manufactured in the 1900’s, are oily liquids that may be found in old electrical transformers, capacitors, fluorescent ballasts, liquid-filled circuit breakers and voltage regulators. It has also been used as flame retardant, paint stabilizer, plasticizer, and in carbon-less paper.
PCBs are Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). These chemicals do not break down easily, remain in the environment and continue to build up. They were banned from use before the 1980s due to their toxicity and were listed among the priority POPs targeted for global elimination under the Stockholm Convention on POPs, a global agreement ratified by the Senate of the Philippines.
HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT EFFECTS OF PCBs
PCBs are linked to serious illnesses like liver damage, skin disease, and sterility. PCBs are also considered as a “probable human carcinogen.”
Improper handling of PCBs and equipment or materials containing PCBs is a threat to public health and the environment.
You may visit the followings links to learn more about the adverse effects of PCB exposure:
LAWS AND POLICIES
The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife, and have harmful impacts on human health or on the environment.