Trace PCB Analysis

PCBs were manufactured in North America until the mid-70’s. 50-percent of worldwide production at that time was in North America. Add to that the fact that 50-percent of foreign PCB production was imported into North America, and you see how prevalent these toxins are on this continent.

Although production ceased in the mid-70’s, many people mistakenly believe that PCBs are limited to being a legacy problem.

However, PCBs continue to be manufactured in present day industries, but just in smaller, less noticeable amounts. Trace amounts are often allowed to be in a wide variety of products including printing inks, organic dyes (especially the colors yellow and green), industrial and residential caulking.

In many cases the PCB’s are inadvertent bi-products of the manufacturing process, but regardless, they are still here.

PCBs are comprised of 209 individual congeners. Of these 209, the World Health Organization has identified 12 that have similar toxic properties to dioxins and are called dioxin-like PCBs. They are a concern because of their potential to cause Cancer.

The WHO has assigned toxic equivalency factors for the 12 dioxin-like PCB’s

Testing for all 209 PCBs at trace levels

The Pacific Rim Laboratory team has the ability to test for all 209 PCBs at trace levels, following EPA 1668C. Another commonly requested reporting format is to provide the dioxin-like PCBs and homolog totals (Total MonoCB, Total DiCB, Total TriCB, etc.). We can also provide just the dioxin-like PCBs if that is all you require.

In 2009 Pacific Rim Laboratories presented a paper, at the International Dioxin Conference in Beijing, on the analysis of all 209 congeners using an SGE HT8 Column. Our chemists are also regular speakers at the Spokane River Forum, discussing unexpected sources of PCBs and how to test for them.