CAW National Council 4000
Occupational Health and Safety

Hazardous Substances:  PCB's (Polychlorinated Biphenyl's)

PCB’s can cause ill-health effects if they are inhaled, ingested, or if they come into contact with eyes or skin. They are absorbed
through the skin. Another word for them is chlorodiphenyl.

Short-Term Effects

PCB’s can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and an acne-like skin rash. They may also injure the liver resulting in such
effects as fatigue, dark urine and yellow jaundice. Death may result.

Nausea, burning sensation and swelling of the face and hands and a persistent body odour.

Long-Term Effects

A variety of cancers can occur such as skin cancer and cancer of the pancreas. Adverse reproductive effects may occur.


All carcinogens should be eliminated from the workplace wherever possible as even minute amounts can initiate the uncontrollable
growth of abnormal cells.

Enclose process
Local exhaust ventilation
General dilution ventilation
Personal protective equipment


42% chlorine
ACGIH TLV 1 mg/m3
U.S. NIOSH recommendation .001mg/m3 and regulation as a carcinogen

54% chlorine
ACGIH TLV 0.5 mg/m3
U.S. NIOSH recommendation 0.001 mg/m3 and regulations as a carcinogen

Source:  CAW Health, Safety & Environment Department