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New York City Transit Environmental Conference 2006

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New York City Transit Environmental Conference 2006. PCBs in Caulk – An Unrecognized Source By Tom Gibbons, CHMM. Introduction. Background on PCBs What are PCBs? What are the Historic Uses? What are the Health Risks? Harvard Study on PCBs in Caulk Findings & Developments in US

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new york city transit environmental conference 2006

New York City TransitEnvironmental Conference 2006

PCBs in Caulk – An Unrecognized Source

By Tom Gibbons, CHMM

introduction
Introduction
  • Background on PCBs
    • What are PCBs?
    • What are the Historic Uses?
    • What are the Health Risks?
  • Harvard Study on PCBs in Caulk
  • Findings & Developments in US
  • Findings & Developments in Europe
  • Regulatory Agency / Industry Responses
slide4
Mixtures of Synthetic Organic Chemicals with Similar Structures and Properties

Chlorine + Biphenyl + Heat = PCBs

What are PCBs?

Molecular Structure =

what are pcbs
What are PCBs?
  • Properties of PCBs
    • Non-Flammable
    • Chemically Stable
    • High Boiling Point
    • Electrically Insulating
historical uses of pcbs
Historical Uses of PCBs
  • Electrical Equipment
  • Heat Transfer Equipment
  • Hydraulic Equipment
  • Plasticizers
    • Caulks and Plastics
    • Rubber Products
  • Pigments, Dyes and Paints
  • 1.5 Billion Pounds / 1977
health effects of pcbs
Health Effects of PCBs
  • Causes Cancer in Animals
    • Probable Human Carcinogen
    • Liver Cancer / Melanoma
  • Suppresses the Immune System
  • Reproductive System
    • Reduces Birth Weight and Conception Rate
  • Suppresses Neurological Development
  • Disrupts the Endocrine System – Retards Growth
harvard school of public health
Harvard School of Public Health
  • July 2004 – HSPH Press Release
  • 24 Buildings Tested
  • 1/3 or 8 of 24 Exceeded 50 ppm PCB
  • Up to 50,000 ppm PCB
  • Caulk Unrecognized and Widespread Source of PCBs
  • Recommends Routine Testing of Caulk
recent studies findings
Recent Studies & Findings
  • California – 1995
    • Local Watershed Contaminated
    • Sediments in Creek 500 ppm PCB
    • Dunsmuir Reservoir Caulk 15%-20% PCB
recent studies findings10
Recent Studies & Findings
  • University of Rhode Island – 2000
    • PCBs in Soil Traced to Building Caulk
    • PCBs in Caulk 600x above EPA Limit
    • EPA Mandated Clean-up Program
    • Over 1-year and $3M to Clean-up
recent studies findings11
Recent Studies & Findings
  • Westchester County Schools – 2005
    • French Hill School – Soil > 1ppm PCB
    • EPA Mandated $300K Clean-up of Soil and Window Caulk
    • News Channel 4 PCB Report May 22, 2006
recent studies findings12
Recent Studies & Findings
  • 2-year Study – Confidential Client - 2005
    • 291 Facilities
    • PCBs found in Caulk at 40% of facilities
    • 10% over 50 ppm
recent studies findings13
Recent Studies & Findings
  • Montana – 2005
    • Fish Contaminated with PCB
    • Bozeman Hatchery Caulk with PCBs
recent studies findings14
Recent Studies & Findings
  • Colorado – 2005
    • Marston Water Treatment Plant – PCB in Caulk
    • Caulk Removed but Underlying Concrete Contaminated - 1000 ppm PCB
european studies
European Studies
  • Finland
    • Established Link to Elevated Levels of PCB in Worker’s Blood
    • Removal of ALL PCB Caulk Mandated
  • Germany
    • Established Link to Elevated Air Born Concentrations
    • Established Link to Elevated Levels of PCB in Teacher’s Blood
  • Sweden
    • Preparing Requirements to Abate PCB-containing Caulk
federal response
Federal Response
  • EPA Region 2 – November 3, 2005 Letter
    • “Testing of caulk may be advisable . . .”
    • “PCB containing caulk is not an authorized use and is illegal.”
    • “Potential for exposure may be significant”
    • “PCB-containing caulk must be removed upon discovery”
    • Removal and Disposal per 40 CFR Part 761
  • ATSDR – Aroclor 1254 is a Common Ingredient in Caulk
state local response
State / Local Response
  • Willis Stephens, NYS Assemblyman
    • Preparing Bill to Require Testing of Caulk in Schools Constructed or Renovated Prior to January 1978.
  • Michael Kaplowitz, Westchester County Legislator 5/06
    • “Now that PCB contamination is being discovered in more and more schools, we need to take a closer look and step up our efforts to get the EPA to appropriately regulate testing and remediation.”
state local response18
State / Local Response
  • State University Construction Fund
    • Requires Testing for PCBs in Caulk Prior to Disturbance
  • State Education Department
    • Drafting Guidelines on PCB-containing Caulk
  • Con Edison
    • Requires Testing Prior to Facility Closure
    • 1 Glazing and 1 Caulk / Elevation / Building
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Caulk is a suspected PCB-containing material and should be routinely tested for PCBs prior to disturbance.
  • Caulk is a significant PCB exposure risk.
  • PCB-containing caulk must be removed and disposed of as PCB waste upon discovery.
  • State agencies and private businesses have begun to develop guidelines for testing and removal of PCB-containing caulk.
  • Currently testing caulk for PCBs is not required by law but “may be advisable.”
for more information
For More Information

Please Contact:

Thomas Gibbons, CHMM

Client Program Manager

[email protected]

212-290-6098

646-529-3641

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