Polychlorinated Biphenyls: Nature and Management

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PCB: Nature and Management Introduction The history of PCB's (known as the Polychlorinated Biphenyls) dates back to the early 1930's. There is no record of the chemical existing in nature prior to this. This chemical substance is a type of oil that is chlorinated. It is hardly reactive with other substances. It is not even prone to rapid combustion and serves as an electrical insulator. The chemical also maintains its structural integrity when subjected to high temperature and pressure. This led the scientific community to consider PCB's as the perfect replacement for dielectric liquids and as a form of insulation within capacitors and major transformers (Forsberg, 2007). The property of PCB enabled it to be an immediate candidate for use in hydraulics, light (fluorescent) ballasts and heat transfer mediums. Its usage was further expanded to include tasks such as making pigments, plasticizers and industrial grade wax. Discussion Identification It is important for a Food safety professional to be able to detect the effects of PCB's on humans, animals and the environment. This provides them with important cures in how to contain and eventually eradicate the exposure to the PCB's. In human beings the first sign of PCB exposure and poison is chloracne and rashes on the skin. The PCB is fat soluble so it will dissolve in the dermis and any other layer than contains fat. The detection of PCB in a human source is important because it shows that there is a pre-dominant

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