1.12.2016 Site Visit ANDE San Lorenzo 00

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB)

e-Learning Platform

Welcome to the UNITAR PCB e-Learning Platform!

But what are PCB?

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) are a class of man-made chlorinated organic chemicals that may occur in older electrical equipment such as transformers, capacitors and fluorescent lighting ballasts. The electrical sector has used them as dielectric oils, because PCB are non-flammable, chemically stable and they have a high boiling point as well as excellent insulating properties.

PCBs represent a risk as they are persistent, bioaccumulate and can travel long distances in the environment as well as they are toxic to wildlife and humans. Therefore, they have been listed under the Stockholm Convention as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). Parties that ratified the Stockholm Convention aim to eliminate the use of PCBs by 2025 and to provide their environmentally sound waste management by 2028.

PCBs are widely spread in the environment and can be found in air, water, soil, sediment, and biota. There is scientific evidence that humans are exposed to PCB through ingestion of animal fats, inhalation, and absorption through skin. Furthermore, they are classified as carcinogens and they can suppress the immune system, which can increase the risk of developing a wide variety of diseases. Workers working in electrical sector can be particularly exposed to PCBs.

Now that we know a bit about PCBs let's go to the e-Learning modules...

The UNITAR PCB e-learning platform aims to provide useful training materials related to different aspects of the management of PCBs. The training material are presented in video or interactive form and PowerPoint. Both formats complement each other and are designed to have a good understanding of the basis of PCB Management.