News & tips on health, fitness and nutrition

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Why are PCBs so bad?

PCBs are man-made industrial chemicals with long track records as environmental pollutants. Prior to the United States' 1979 ban, the compound entered the environment through manufacturing. Today PCBs are released into the environment from poorly maintained hazardous waste sites; illegal or improper dumping of PCB wastes; leaks or releases from electrical transformers containing PCBs; and disposal of PCB-containing consumer products into municipal landfills not designed to handle hazardous waste.

PCBs have been shown to cause cancer in animals, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. PCBs have also been shown to cause a number of serious non-cancer health effects in animals, including effects on the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, and endocrine system. Studies in humans provide supportive evidence for potential carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic effects of PCBs.

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