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.
Waste in the water – New purification techniques for healthier aquatic ecosystems
24.07.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Plenty of habitat for bears in Europe
24.07.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
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Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
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Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
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The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.
Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...
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