Most PCBs are decreasing near the Great Lakes—but one’s not. Why?

Read the full story from Environmental Health News.

Toxic PCBs are on a steady decrease in Great Lakes region air but over the past decade one type remains constant—it’s likely due to yellow pigment manufacturing.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were used in electrical equipment and as industrial solvents. The chemical family was banned in the 1970s amid concern that PCBs accumulated in wildlife and people and were linked to reduced IQs, cancer and suppressed immune systems. Levels of the long-lasting compounds in the environment and our bodies have been steadily decreasing since.

With at least one exception. A new study found that PCB-11, a byproduct of yellow pigment manufacturing, has remained stable in the atmosphere around the Great Lakes for more than two decades, suggesting it is still leaking into the environment.

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