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#148509 - 08/22/05 08:04 PM PCBs IN FLUORESCENT LIGHT BALLASTS
Webmaster Offline


Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3142
Loc: NY, USA
Fluorescent light ballasts manufactured before 1984 can contain small quantities of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). Ballasts made without PCBs are labeled "PCB-free." If it's not labeled, assume the ballast contains PCBs.

PCBs are a hazard if the ballasts leak, are burned in a fire (producing dioxins), or if they are disposed of improperly. PCBs are liquid, and are easily absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin, eyes, or mucous membranes, so special precautions should be taken when handling them.

Workers chronically exposed to PCBs are at increased risk for certain health problems. The main health effect is a form of dermatitis called Chloracne.

PCBs can also cause skin irritation and nervous system depression (effects similar to solvent overexposure), and can also affect liver function. The International Agency for Research on Cancer says that PCBs are "probably carcinogenic to humans."

What to do:

-- Inspect ballast for leaks or damage before you handle it.

-- Wear proper protective equipment: safety glasses or goggles and gloves made of Butyl, Neoprene, Teflon, Viton, Saranex, or Barricade.

-- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water

* immediately after handling contaminated materials

* if you get the oil on your hands

* before eating, smoking, or using the washroom.

-- Dispose of PCB-containing ballasts properly according to local Regulations.

-- Remove contaminated clothing before leaving the work site and launder separately or dispose of it.

-- Do not smoke, eat, or drink in the work area.

-- Protect the ballasts from open flame or fire.

More information on PCBs from Environment Canada:
PCB Fact Sheet

(Thanks to Tony Moscioni)

[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited 08-22-2005).]

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#148510 - 08/24/05 02:03 AM Re: PCBs IN FLUORESCENT LIGHT BALLASTS
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8532
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Good Lord!,
I've been going on about this for years.
We first had an amnesty here in 1982 for these chemicals.
There are still a lot of PCB's left over here, mainly because the owners don't want to get rid of them and niether do the EC's want to either, mainly because of the cost.
IMO, the manufacturer should come to the party.
We had a whole heap of Ballasts had to go to France for disposal in a High Temperature Incinerator.
As far as I know that hasn't changed.
But at the end of the day, it will all come down to cost, just as it has in the past.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin


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