PCBs describe a broad range of man-made chemicals used for hundreds of industrial and commercial products. Due to its extreme toxicity to humans, it has been banned in the U.S. for production since 1979. It was primarily used in electrical, heat transfer, and hydraulic equipment and had varying appearances from thin, light colored liquids to black waxy solids.[viii]
PCBs are released into the environment by the improper handling and disposal of wastes containing PCBs. Because PCBs are highly insoluble in water, they are typically associated with solid particulate matter. Contaminated soils and debris can then be transferred into aquatic and terrestrial environments through surface water flows.[ix]
Bioaccumulation also plays a transport mechanism within the food-chain.
Materials suspect of containing PCBs should be disposed of at hazardous waste facilities. Transformers, capacitors, voltage regulators, oil-filled motors and hydraulic systems, cable insulation, and fluorescent light ballasts are common items containing PCBs[x]