What are Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)?
Polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs are man-made, organic chlorine compounds with carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine atoms. The highly toxic industrial compounds with the formula C12H10-xCIx are harmful to fetuses, infants, children, and adults. Since PCBs are pervasive organic compounds, it takes a long time for these to break down in the environment.
What are PCBs in Water?
PCBs or polychlorinated biphenyls enter the water during the manufacture and use of Aroclor compounds. Since most PCBs do not mix with water, the organic compounds settle down into lake bottoms, riverbeds, and coastal sediments for years. Despite the banning of the toxic industrial compounds in 1978, the chemicals are still present in many water systems.
How Do You Get Rid of PCBs in Water?
Just like with most chemical contaminants, there are several ways to remove PCBs from your water. Among these include the use of granular activated carbon (GAC) to filter PCBs and other water contaminants. Activated carbon is presently used in most water filtration systems all around the world due to its efficiency in removing impurities in the water.
How Does PCBs Get into Water?
Runoff from the use of Aroclor compounds and the improper disposal of its waste will result in PCBs entering water systems. PCBs are also present throughout the environment through occasional accidental spills and leaks from industrial facilities.