Skip to Content

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

PCBs are found in many oil-based items, electrical fluids, capacitors, light ballasts, and transformers. PCBs are known carcinogens that are toxic to humans through skin exposure, inhalation, and ingestion. PCBs cause skin disorders and they irritate the eyes, ears, nose, and throat.

Before shipping, handling, or disposing of oil-based products, Texas State University employees must determine if their products contain PCBs.

Common trade names for PCBs include the following:

Aroclor Clorphen Inerteen
Aroclor B Diaclor No-Flamol
Abestol Dyankol Pyranol
Askarel and Adkarel Elemex Pyroclor
Chlorextol Eucarel Saf-T-Kuhl
Chlorinol Hyvol Sanotherm


Owners are specifically responsible for properly handling any equipment containing PCBs. For example, PCB transformers must meet the following requirements:

  • PCB transformers and owners must be registered with the local Fire Department.
  • The PCB transformer and access to the PCB transformer (fences, doors, etc.) must be plainly marked with a PCB label.
  • Combustible materials may not be stored within five meters of a PCB transformer or enclosure.
  • If a transformer is involved in a fire-related incident, the National Response Center must be notified.
  • Radial PCB transformers must be equipped with high current fault protection. Units with secondary voltage of 480 volts or greater must be equipped with low current fault protection.
  • The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality considers PCBs to be special waste. Contact EHSRM for disposal procedures.

Report all PCB leaks (e.g., transformer leaks) to Facilities Department or the EHSRM.

Revised May 2011
Reviewed November 2014