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pcb structurepolychlorinated dibenzodioxins

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

Monsanto Hid Decades Of Pollution

How to Protect Your Family

Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Exposure and Diabetes

Study adds PCBs to list of chemicals linked to autism

PCB-laden spraying may be widespread


1929 The commercial production of PCBs is taken over by Monsanto from Swann Chemical incorporation.

Through partial oxidation polychlorinated biphenyls create dioxins and dibenzofurans.

Polychlorinated biphenyls alter estrogen levels in the body.

In the womb, males can be feminized or the baby may be intersex, neither a male nor a female or both sets of reproductive organs may develop.

Biological magnification of PCBs has also led to polar bears and whales that have both male and female sex organs and males that cannot reproduce.

This effect is also known as endocrine disruption.


1930 to 1977 Monsanto, markets PCBs under the trade name Aroclor.

PCB mixtures have been used for a variety of applications, including dielectric fluids for capacitors and transformers, heat transfer fluids, hydraulic fluids, lubricating and cutting oils, and as additives in pesticides, paints, carbonless copy paper, adhesives, sealants, plastics, reactive flame retardants, and as a fixative for microscopy.

Polychlorinated biphenyls were also used in surgical implants.

The most commonly observed health effects in people exposed to large amounts of PCBs are skin conditions such as chloracne and rashes, both identified as symptoms of systemic poisoning dating back to the 1920s.

2001 Waste disposal and recycling firm Philip Services is fined $1,000,000 for environmental violations at four Washington State locations.

The facilities accept hazardous substances for disposal and/or recycling including PCBs, solvents, acids, cyanide and petroleum products.

The incorporation has already been deemed a responsible party for ground water contamination that has migrated from their Georgetown, Washington facility onto adjacent properties and has been fined in 1995 ($160,000) and 1998 ($25,000) for previous environmental violations.

EPA endorses plan to remove PCB contaminated sediment from a 40 mile stretch of the Hudson River north of Albany.

General Electric dumps some 1.3 million pounds of PCBs into the river.

General Electric spends hundreds of millions fighting the dredging plan.

2003 Alabama jurors award $6 million in property damages in the Anniston, Alabama PCB contamination class action to 21 plaintiffs.

There are some 900 additional plaintiffs in the class seeking property damages and 3,500 seeking damages for illnesses allegedly caused by exposure to PCBs. Another class action has been filed by some 15,000 additional plaintiffs.

Monsanto made PCBs at the Anniston facility from 1935 to 1971.

Paper manufacturer Glatfelter agreed to pay $25 million towards the dredging of PCB contaminated sediment in Wisconsin's Fox River and Green Bay.

2004 Alcoa agrees to study remediation options for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contamination in New York's Grasse River.

Residents filed a toxic tort lawsuit against National Electric Coil plant in Dayhoit, Kentucky.

Substances released include PCBs, dioxins, vinyl chloride, trichloroethylene and heavy metals.

The plaintiff's also allege that the incorporation misled residents regarding the health risks once the contamination was discovered.

The facility was bought by Cooper Industries from National Electric Coil in 1985 and was closed in 1987.

2005 Seven paper companies that dumped PCBs into the Fox River, Wisconsin over a 20 year period ending in the 1970s have pay $130 million for cleanup.

General Electric agrees to spend $215 - $265 million in first phase of PCB cleanup of 2.65 million cubic yards of PCB contaminated sediment in the Hudson River.

2006 Capacitor manufacturer Schlumberger Technology agrees to pay $20 million to settle liability for natural resource damages to Lake Hartwell which straddles the border between South Carolina and Georgia.




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