Jun 24, 2013

Posted by in Personal Injury, Premises Liability, Toxic Substances | 0 Comments

Why PCBs are considered Dangerous Substances

While pharmaceutical product lawsuits are on the rise due to the bevy of defective products in the market, certain toxic substances continue to harm innocent people.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are synthetic odorless and tasteless compounds that were widely used in the prior to being banned in 1979. Their commercial applications included many household items and products including kitchen appliances that use transformers and capacitors, fluorescent light ballasts, oil-based paints, motor and hydraulic, adhesives, cements, even carbonless paper. PCBs are considered dangerous substances because they present serious health hazards to humans and they are persistent in nature.

PCBs are extremely stable compounds that have low flammability and high electrical insulation, which make them ideal for industrial and commercial use. However, these same properties that make them desirable also make them extremely difficult to dispose of safely. They do not readily oxidize or decompose in nature, which is why they were used so extensively in the past. PCBs are not easily destroyed even with the use of biochemical, thermal and chemical methods, and even when they are destroyed, they can persist in the air, water, and soil for up to 15 years.

PCBs are considered environmentally toxic and dangerous substances because of the causal link with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in humans after long-term exposure. Other health effects include disfiguring dermatitis, problems with the liver, kidney and central nervous system as well as the immune and reproductive systems. Prolonged exposure can also lead to respiratory problems, nausea, anorexia, gastrointestinal distress and eye irritation. Children exposed to PCBs in utero may also experience developmental problems.

The main reason PCBs are considered dangerous substances is because it is insidious. It is present in drinking water, in the soil and air in populated areas. Fish and plants may also accumulate PCBs, which serves as source of oral PCB when they are eaten by humans.

It is extremely difficult to avoid PCB exposure altogether, but in general the exposure is below toxic levels. If you suddenly begin experiencing symptoms of acute and prolonged PCB exposure, it may be because of illegal dumping or improper destruction of PCB material in your immediate vicinity. These dangerous substances can lead to significant health problems for you and your family, so it would be in your best interest to investigate the source of exposure. If you believe that there is negligence involved, contact a toxic substances lawyer who will know how to set about proving your suspicion.

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