PCBs, short for polychlorinated biphenyls, are synthetic organic chemicals that were extensively used in various industrial and commercial applications. In the 1970s, they were commonly employed as coolants and lubricants in electrical equipment, such as transformers. They were also used in other products, including plastics and adhesives. However, due to concerns regarding their toxicity and environmental persistence, the use of PCBs was eventually phased out. PCBs are a hazardous substance that can cause adverse health effects, including cancer and developmental problems, if exposure occurs.
PCBs pose a serious threat to both human and wildlife health due to their highly toxic nature. Exposure to these chemicals can cause a range of health problems, including cancer and immune system disorders. They are also persistent in the environment, as they can accumulate in the food chain. This leads to contamination of fish and other aquatic animals. Although many countries have banned the use of PCBs, improper disposal of old equipment containing these chemicals can still cause ongoing contamination, making them a continuing risk to human and environmental health.