PCBs are persistent organic pollutants identified worldwide as human blood and breast milk contaminants. They were widely used in industry as cooling and insulating fluids for electrical equipment as well as in construction and domestic products such as varnishes and caulks. PCBs were banned in the 1970s because of their high toxicity.
PCBs are associated with thyroid toxicity, effects on immune, reproductive, nervous, and endocrine systems, and cancer effects including breast cancer. The research by the Silent Spring Institute shows that current exposure from old wood floor finishes may be even more significant for some people than their diet.
Researchers Ruthann Rudel and Julia Brody of the Silent Spring Institute and Liesel Seryak, of the Ohio State University previously measured PCBs in indoor air and dust in homes in Cape Cod during 1999-2001. They found detectable levels of PCBs in almost one in three of 120 residences. However, two of the homes had much higher concentrations of PCBs than the others. They have now retested those two homes to verify the initial finding, and they have evaluated blood PCB concentrations of the residents. The newest findings are that air and dust concentrations of PCBs remained elevated over five years between initial and follow-up sampling. Residents in the two homes also showed higher levels of PCBs in their blood serum than the 95th percentile of a representative sample of the US population.
The likely source of the PCBs was brought to light when a resident reported using a particular floor finish, Fabulon, in the home in the 1950s and 1960s. Researchers learned that this product contained PCBs in the past from a reference book series “Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products” which was published at that time.
The researchers point out that many buildings, including schools and public buildings, from this period may harbor PCB-containing floor finishes or other products. "Our findings suggest that the exposure potential posed by historic use of PCBs in building materials may be significantly underestimated," the researchers said.
Global threat to primates concerns us all
19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung
Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences