- Polychlorinated biphenyl (54% chlorine)
Light yellow, viscous liquid. Practically odorless.
Formerly used in hydraulic fluid, rubber plasticizers, synthetic resin plasticizers, adhesives, wax extenders, dedusting agents, inks, cutting oils, pesticide extenders, sealants and caulking compounds.
Registry Numbers and Inventories.
Tumorigen; Mutagen; Reproductive Effector
Melting point, °C
Boiling point, °C
Vapor pressure, mmHg
8E-5 (25 C)
1.495-1.505 g/cm3 (65 C)
Solubility in water
Partition coefficient, pKow
Hazards and Protection.
Store at pcbs in isolated areas where the drums are not vulnerable to damage from vehicles, forklifts, or other moving equipment. Store at ambient temperatures with open venting.
All chemicals should be considered hazardous. Avoid direct physical contact. Use appropriate, approved safety equipment. Untrained individuals should not handle this chemical or its container. Handling should occur in a chemical fume hood.
Workers should be provided with suitable long-sleeved overalls, boots, overshoes and bib-type aprons that cover the boot tops, and gloves. Safety glasses with side shields or goggles should be used for eye protection. Dispensers of liquid detergent should be available. In the laboratory, gloves and protective clothing should always be worn but should not be assumed to provide full protection.
Any self-contained breathing apparatus that has a full facepiece and is operated in a pressure-demand or other positive-pressure mode. Any supplied-air respirator that has a full facepiece and is operated in a pressure-demand or other positive-pressure mode in combination with an auxiliary self-contained breathing apparatus operated in pressure-demand or other positive-pressure mode. Any appropriate escape-type, self-contained breathing apparatus.
Do not touch or walk through spilled material. Stop leak if you can do it without risk. Prevent dust cloud. Avoid inhalation of asbestos dust.
Avoid contact with strong oxidizers.
Bureau of explosives recommendations-use extinguishing agent suitable for type of surrounding fire since pcbs do not burn or burn with difficulty. extinguish with water, foam, dry chemical, or carbon dioxide. (Cghcd* 78/uscg).
Irritating gases are generated in fires.
Fire may produce irritating, corrosive and/or toxic gases.
OSHA PEL: TWA 0.5 mg/m3 skin NIOSH REL: Ca TWA 0.001 mg/m3 See Appendix A *Note: The REL also applies to other PCBs. NIOSH IDLH: Potential occupational carcinogen 5 mg/m3
G-A3, I-2A, N-2, CP65
Weakness and numbness of the extremities and headache have been reported. Neurobehavioral and psychomotor impairment have been reported after occupational and in utero exposure. One of the potential symptoms of occupational PCB overexposure is decreased birth weight in offspring of exposed mothers. <br>Although relative small quantities of PCBs reach the fetus, significant PCB overexposure can cause teratogenic effects. PBBs are experimental teratogens. <br>Both PCBs and PBBs concentrate in milk.
Gi upset and diarrhea have been reported.
Inhalation of material may be harmful.
Chloracne is a specific skin reaction associated with cyclic halogenated compounds. Children with in utero high exposures appear to have a higher rate of dermal reactions, including hyperpigmentation, acne and itching.
PCBs are mildly irritating to eyes and skin. Possible symptoms include facial edema, eye discharge, swollen eyelids, the mucous membrane that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and the exposed surface of the eyeballl hyperemia, and visual and hearing disturbances.
Emesis - in almost all cases, ingestions of pcbs or pbbs will not be recognized until long after emesis would be of any value. Vomiting of the pure substance may cause aspiration. Activated charcoal - the value of administering activated charcoal for an acute, known ingestion is unknown. Activated charcoal is a fairly benign treatment, and therefore, should be considered after acute ingestion. Activated charcoal: administer charcoal as a slurry (240 ml water/30 g charcoal). Usual dose: 25 to 100 g in adults/adolescents. There is little specific treatment. Patients should be monitored for increased hepatic enzymes, chloracne, and the nonspecific eye, gastrointestinal, and neurologic symptoms seen in the yusho poisonings.
Move patient to fresh air. Monitor for respiratory distress. If cough or difficulty breathing develops, evaluate for respiratory tract irritation, bronchitis, or pneumonitis. Administer oxygen and assist ventilation as required. Treat bronchospasm with beta2 agonist and corticosteroid aerosols.
A post-contamination washing cannot be assumed to remove pcbs. In animal studies only 59 percent of applied pcbs were removed from the skin with immediate washings with water and acetone, and only 1 percent was removed washing 24 hours after exposure. Multiple soap and water washings are necessary.
Immediately flush with running water for at least 20 minutes.