June 27 Webinar – Advancing Green Chemistry: PCBs in Pigments

This Webinar was hosted by the Washington State Department of Ecology and the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable.

Advancing the design of PCB free pigments is a goal for the green chemistry community to help transition from research to development to market. This webinar described the issues related to the inadvertent production of PCBs in pigments.

The challenge of reducing Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) at the source is a national, even global issue as PCBs are globally transported, do not easily degrade, and bioaccumulate in the food chain. The EPA National Listing of Fish Advisories lists more than 1100 waterbodies in the United States where the PCB concentrations in fish render it unsafe to eat. There is also mounting evidence that even low levels of persistent chemicals have negative biological impacts of endocrine and neurological systems. PCBs are ubiquitous in the environment, not only as the result of legacy uses of Aroclors but, significantly, from residual PCBs that are still being legally produced as “inadvertent contaminants” in industrial processes. A specific example is PCBs in pigments used in inks, dyes, and other products.

This session provided historical and regulatory context to the issue, describe the changes, challenges, and solutions needed for effective source control of PCBs.

Dr. Lisa Rodenburg, Rutgers University
Adriane Borgias, Washington State Department of Ecology
Professor Robert Christie, Heriot-Watt University, Galashield, Scotland

PCBs in Pigments Presentation

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