Potential PCB Exposure Risks from Indoor and Outdoor Environments throughout Puerto Rico
Zimmetry Environmental provides testing and consulting services to identify and mitigate exposure risks to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from environmental sources and building materials that contain the hazardous chemicals.
Bayamon, Puerto Rico -- After Hurricane Maria caused widespread damage to Puerto Rico, several articles were published about potential dangers residents faced from toxic chemicals stirred up from coastal sediment by the historic storm. In particular, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in waterfront areas, such as Guanica Bay, where mentioned. High levels of the chemicals had previously been reported in the bay’s sediment in a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) study.
Many people are aware of PCB hazards associated with areas that were once heavily polluted industrial sites or are known Superfund sites. However, few recognize that these same dangerous chemicals were also once widely used in construction materials that are still present in buildings across the globe.
PCBs were domestically manufactured from 1929 until manufacturing was banned in 1979. They have a range of toxicity and vary in consistency from thin, light-colored liquids to yellow or black waxy solids. Due to their non-flammability, chemical stability, high boiling point and electrical insulating properties, PCBs were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications.
“PCBs have been identified as probable human carcinogens and may also cause a variety of non-cancer health effects,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “Unfortunately, PCBs may still be present in products and materials produced before the 1979 ban. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has even reported concerns over the past potential widespread use of PCB-containing building materials in schools and other buildings constructed or renovated between about 1950 and 1979. These materials include such common items as caulk, joint compounds, window putty and fluorescent light ballasts. EPA recommends that building materials suspected of containing PCBs be tested directly for their presence and be properly removed if renovations are planned in a building.”
Providing PCB testing and monitoring services in Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean are the environmental and industrial hygiene experts at Zimmetry Environmental. They also recently sponsored an educational video about PCBs in building materials that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/o-e5o86u0mk
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their PCB, indoor air quality, environmental, and compliance testing and consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.