Ther persistence of PCBs   Leave a comment

PCBs were banned from all US made products in 1979, so many people ask the question: why are we still worried about them? Today, I’d like to discuss a few of the reasons that PCBs are still relevant today.

First, PCBs do not degrade quickly. Even if they were introduced to our environment 30 years ago, they are still intact and have the ability to cause severe health problems.

Second, PCBs have low water solubility and high lipid solubility. This allows them to be stored in adipose tissue, or fat. In other words, once consumed, PCBs can hide out in our bodies for a long time.

Third, PCBs bioaccumulate up the food chain. For example, fish consume the toxic waste (including PCBs) that finds its way into bodies of water. When we eat the fish, we also consume their stored PCBs. As humans are at the top of the food chain, we are at a high risk of consuming PCBs in our food.

Taken together, this information suggests that simply banning the manufacturing of PCBs is not enough. We need to clean these toxins out of our environment, or they will continue to infiltrate organic systems, and cause serious health problems.

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Posted August 30, 2010 by lymphomactivist in Uncategorized

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