Contaminant cause

Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB)

A polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) is an organic chlorine compound with the formula C12H10−xClx. Polychlorinated biphenyls were once widely deployed as dielectric and coolant fluids in electrical apparatus, carbonless copy paper and in heat transfer fluids. Because of their longevity, PCBs are still widely in use, even though their manufacture has declined drastically since the 1960s, when a host of problems were identified.

Risk Factor
0 effects
Measured in mg

Caution

The International Research Agency on Cancer (IRAC), rendered PCBs as definite carcinogens in humans. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PCBs cause cancer in animals and are probable human carcinogens.

Recommended Dosage

Because of PCBs' environmental toxicity and classification as a persistent organic pollutant, PCB production was banned by the United States Congress in 1979 and by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 2001. Many rivers and buildings including schools, parks, and other sites are contaminated with PCBs, and there have been contaminations of food supplies with the toxins.

Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Health Risks

OutcomesEffectEvidenceReferences

Prostate Cancer Reproductive outcome
Prostate Cancer
Reproductive

Notable Increase

Needs research

1 study

Pancreatic cancer Digestive outcome

Strong Increase

Evidence: High

1 study

Low birth weight Maternity outcome

Minor Increase

Evidence: Low

1 study

Type 2 Diabetes Lymphatic outcome

Strong Increase

Evidence: High

1 study

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Nervous outcome

Strong Increase

Evidence: Low

1 study

Users