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.
The large family of chemical compounds known as poly- chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) has a reputation for toxicity.
Comparative study on formation of hydroxy and sulfur-containing metabolites from different chlorinated biphenyls with 2,5-substitution in rats.