PCBs, polychlorinated biphenyls


See Wellington catalogue

PCBsor polychlorinated biphenyls, are chlorinated aromatic compounds known in France under the commercial name of pyralenes. They are industrially synthesised and used for their insulating properties.

Use of PCBs

From the 1930s to the 1970s, PCBs were mainly used in the form of mixtures. These compounds were known for their insulating properties and their chemical and physical stability.

They were notably used in :

  • electrical transformers,
  • the capacitors,
  • insulators,
  • heat transfer or hydraulic fluids,
  • microwave ovens,
  • adhesives or paints…

In short, they are considered to be virtually non-flammable electrical insulators and are recognised for their excellent dielectric and thermal conduction properties.

PCBs and pollution

Although PCBs have been banned in France since 1987 and are classified as persistent organic pollutants (POPs), pollution is spreading everywhere because they are chemically stable and not very biodegradable.

These stable compounds gradually accumulate in the environment, particularly in marine and river sediments. As a result, they are found throughout the food chain, concentrating in the fatty tissues of animals. PCBs are mainly found in animal products: fish, meat, eggs and dairy products. This is why food is the main route of contamination for the population, accounting for around 90% of total exposure.

In conclusion, these chemical pollutants are divided into two categories:

  • Dioxin-Like” PCBs or PCB-DLs, whose toxicity is always expressed as a toxic equivalent of TCDD (2,3,7,8-Tetra-Chloro-Dibenzo-para-Dioxin),
  • Non Dioxin-Like” PCBs or PCB-NDLs, most commonly found in river fish.

Our reagents for your PCB analyses

Wellington offers a wide range of labelled PCBs in individual solutions and mixtures, as well as calibration kits in compliance with methods EN-1948-4, EPA 1668 and 1668C, and Environment Canada EC-9605.

BCP Instruments provides you with the analytical standards needed to accurately measure trace contaminants in your environmental samples. The proposed reagents are either native or labelled (C13 or deuterium).

More information on the Wellington catalogue.


The other Wellington categories

PFAS, Substances per- & polyfluoroalkylées

Halogenated flame retardants, HFRs and other compounds

Polychlorinated biphenyls, PCBs

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers, PBDEs & Polybrominated biphenyls, PBBs

Dioxins, Furans, PCDDs, PCDFs

Organochlorine Pesticides, OCP

Certified reference materials

Other reagents

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