Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

Diagnostics and Chemical Markers of Exposure

The Organic Analytical Toxicology Branch develops and performs unique laboratory tests to measure organic environmental chemicals in people. Examples of available laboratory tests are shown in the table above. It lists the most common names for these chemicals, and their Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Numbers. Many of the chemicals, however, go by alternative names. Please visit the National Library of Medicine ChemID database websiteexternal icon and enter the chemical’s CAS Number. The page displayed after this search will include the chemical’s structure, and alternative names.

Laboratory Methods Panels

CDC’s laboratory methods are intended to evaluate population exposures and to support states in situations considered a public health concern. Please see the “Methods’ Access” tab in the tables found after clicking on each of the listed chemicals for additional information regarding these methods. Currently, CDC’s Organic Analytical Toxicology Branch does not have the capability of generating pilot or preliminary results in support of proposals to obtain public or private funds for a larger project.

Table of laboratory methods panels for Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
Chemical Specimen Type
Polychlorinated biphenyl-28
CAS No. 7012-37-5
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-66
CAS No. 33025-41-1
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-74
CAS No. 32690-93-0
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-99
CAS No. 38380-02-8
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-105
CAS No. 32598-14-4
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-114
CAS No. 74472-37-0
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-118
CAS No. 31508-00-6
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-138/158
CAS No. 52712-04-6 and 74472-42-7
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-146
CAS No. 51908-16-8
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-153
CAS No. 35065-27-1
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-156
CAS No. 38380-08-4
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-157
CAS No. 69782-90-7
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-167
CAS No. 52663-72-6
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-170
CAS No. 35065-30-6
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-172
CAS No. 52663-74-8
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-177
CAS No. 40186-70-7
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-178
CAS No. 52663-67-9
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-180
CAS No. 35065-29-3
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-183
CAS No. 52663-69-1
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-187
CAS No. 52663-68-0
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-194
CAS No. 35694-08-7
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-196/203
CAS No. 42740-50-1 and 52663-76-0
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-206
CAS No. 40186-72-9
serum or plasma
Polychlorinated biphenyl-209
CAS No. 2051-24-3
serum or plasma

Laboratory Method: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhanes/nhanes_03_04/l28_c_met_%20PCBs_and_Persistent_Pesticides.pdfpdf icon

Polychlorinated Biphenyl and Organochlorine Pesticide Concentrations in Maternal Mid-Pregnancy Serum Samples: Association with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability
Lyall K, Croen LA, Sjödin A, Yoshida CK, Zerbo O, Kharrazi M, Windham GC. Environ Health Perspect. 2017 Mar;125(3):474-480. doi: 10.1289/EHP277.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5332182/pdf/EHP277.pdfpdf iconexternal icon

In utero and childhood DDT, DDE, PBDE and PCBs exposure and sex hormones in adolescent boys: The CHAMACOS study
Eskenazi B, Rauch SA, Tenerelli R, Huen K, Holland NT, Lustig RH, Kogut K, Bradman A, Sjodin A, Harley KG. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2016 Nov 14. pii: S1438-4639(16)30264-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2016.11.001. [Epub ahead of print]
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1438463916302644external icon

Reduction of the body burden of PCBs and DDE by dietary intervention in a randomized trial
Jandacek RJ, Heubi JE, Buckley DD, Khoury JC, Turner WE, Sjödin A, Olson JR, Shelton C, Helms K, Bailey TD, Carter S, Tso P, Pavuk M. J Nutr Biochem. 2014 Apr;25(4):483-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2014.01.002.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3960503/pdf/nihms562268.pdfpdf iconexternal icon

Serum concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in participants of the Anniston Community Health Survey
Pavuk M, Olson JR, Sjödin A, Wolff P, Turner WE, Shelton C, Dutton ND, Bartell S; Anniston Environmental Health Research Consortium. Sci Total Environ. 2014 Mar 1;473-474:286-97. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.12.041.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4617226/pdf/nihms-727942.pdfpdf iconexternal icon

Predictors of serum polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations in Anniston residents
Pavuk M, Olson JR, Wattigney WA, Dutton ND, Sjödin A, Shelton C, Turner WE, Bartell SM; Anniston Environmental Health Research Consortium Members of Anniston Environmental Health Research Consortium Steering Committee include S Carter, Bartell S, Carpenter DO, Cash J, Foushee R, Percy A, Frumkin H, Lavender M, Moysich K, Olson J, Pavuk M, Rosenbaum P, Silverstone A, Weinstock R, Shelton C. Sci Total Environ. 2014 Oct 15;496:624-34. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.06.113.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4617205/pdf/nihms-727943.pdfpdf iconexternal icon

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers, polychlorinated biphenyls, and persistent pesticides in serum from the national health and nutrition examination survey: 2003-2008
Sjödin A, Jones RS, Caudill SP, Wong LY, Turner WE, Calafat AM. Environ Sci Technol. 2014 Jan 7;48(1):753-60. doi: 10.1021/es4037836.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4755520/external icon

Plasma polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations and immune function in postmenopausal women
Spector JT, De Roos AJ, Ulrich CM, Sheppard L, Sjödin A, Wener MH, Wood B, McTiernan A. Environ Res. 2014 May;131:174-80. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2014.03.011.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4019676/pdf/nihms-579224.pdfpdf iconexternal icon

Exploring the potential association between brominated diphenyl ethers, polychlorinated biphenyls, organochlorine pesticides, perfluorinated compounds, phthalates, and bisphenol a in polycystic ovary syndrome: a case-control study
Vagi SJ, Azziz-Baumgartner E, Sjödin A, Calafat AM, Dumesic D, Gonzalez L, Kato K, Silva MJ, Ye X, Azziz R. BMC Endocr Disord. 2014 Oct 28;14(1):86. [Epub ahead of print]
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4287339/pdf/12902_2014_Article_298.pdfpdf iconexternal icon

CDC’s laboratory methods are intended to evaluate population exposures and to support states in situations considered a public health concern. CDC does not provide individual health care or assessment unless as part of a broader public health investigation requested by federal or state agencies, such as a health department. Currently, CDC’s Organic Analytical Toxicology Branch does not have the capability of generating pilot or preliminary results in support of proposals to obtain public or private funds for a larger project.

Detecting levels of an environmental chemical in a person’s blood or urine does not necessarily mean the chemical will cause adverse health effects or disease. Advances in analytical methods enable CDC to measure very low levels of environmental chemicals in people, but research studies of varying levels of exposure are needed to determine if specific levels cause health effects. Consulting a clinician with a toxicological background to assist with the interpretation of results is recommended.

Samples to be tested should be processed through a state health department laboratory, and should conform to the laboratory’s reporting procedures. These laboratory methods often require that the sample be collected by a particular method, or sometimes with particular pre-screened collection devices, to minimize external contamination. Following the correct sample collection protocol is necessary for accurate sample measurement. Please contact the laboratory that will be analyzing the sample to learn the sample collection instructions before collecting the samples.

Contact DLSLab@cdc.gov for more information or questions about these laboratory methods.

Page last reviewed: March 6, 2019