PCBs linger on

29th October 2004 at 01:00
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) come in various forms - typically, as a thick oily liquid, used to cool and insulate industrial electrical generators and transformers. PCBs do not conduct electricity and or vaporise at ordinary temperatures, they are fire-resistant and have been produced in large quantities since the 1920s. In the 1960s, there were incidents of poisoning; in Japan, rice oil contaminated by a PCB spill poisoned a large number of people. The risks, combined with this chemical's remarkable persistence (it's really difficult to get rid of, even as waste) caused it to be banned in most applications through the 1970s and 1980s.

But it's still around, circling the planet in the eco-system (PCBs have been found in polar bears), and will take decades to disappear.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now