Polychlorinated biphenyl, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin, and polychlorinated dibenzofuran contamination in PCB disposal facilities.
Levels of contamination by polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin (PCDD), and polychlorinated dibenzofuran (PCDF) were determined at three PCB disposal facilities. Surface samples were taken by wipes with hexane saturated gauze from 0.25 square meter areas, and analyzed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Air samples for PCB levels were collected on florisil adsorbent at a flow rate of 1.0 liter per minute. Nearly all (99 percent) of the 96 air samples showed PCB levels exceeding the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommended exposure limit of 1.0 microgram per cubic meter. Of the 117 surface samples taken for PCBs, 74 percent exceeded the surface criterion of 100 micrograms per square meter. Eleven of the 12 surface samples taken for PCDD and PCDF isomers exceeded the proposed evaluation criterion of 1.0 nanogram per square meter (ng/m2). The 2,3,7,8-TCDD isomer was found at one facility at a concentration of 1.56ng/m2. The authors conclude that other PCB disposal facilities should be closely monitored for levels of PCDD, PCDF, and PCB, and that employee protection efforts should be increased.