polychlorinated biphenyl

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polychlorinated biphenyl

or

PCB,

any of a group of organic compounds originally widely used in industrial processes but later found to be dangerous environmental pollutants. Polychlorinated biphenyl is a fat-soluble, water-insoluble hydrocarbon containing chlorine. It is extremely stable, withstanding temperatures of up to 1,600°F; (870°C;), is fire-resistant, and has been used as a heat-transfer and insulating fluid in cooling systems and electrical equipment; it has also been used in sealants, rubber, paints, plastics, printing ink, and insecticides. The chemical has entered the environment largely as a pollutant from equipment leaks, the weathering of many materials that contain PCB, and through interaction with food products. PCBs are not readily biodegradable. Production has been banned in several industrialized countries; the United States stopped producing PCBs in 1977.

polychlorinated biphenyl

[¦päl·i′klȯr·ə‚nād·əd bī′fen·əl]
(organic chemistry)
Any member of the group of chlorinated isomers of biphenyl. Abbreviated PCB.
References in periodicals archive ?
Only a few of the 209 chlorinated biphenyls were detected in four composite samples, each consisting of carp, rock bass, white crappies, and bluegills.
PCBs are a group of synthetic organic chemicals that contain 209 individual chlorinated biphenyl compounds (known as congeners) with varying harmful effects.
28] Certificate of Analysis, SRM 2262, Chlorinated Biphenyl Congeners in 2,2,4-Trimethylpentane (Nominal Concentration 2 microgram/milliliter), Certificate of Analysis, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (1995), www.