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Re: PCBs in ASR



David,

We've looked into this for work we have done on EPA's PCB rules.  There is
no single definitive answer.  Potential auto-related sources include
capacitors and AC systems, as well as yes, various plastics.  You should
not overlook contamination from non-auto sources though.  Shredders also
deal with appliances, which could contain PCBs (capacitors). 

PCBs were banned in the late-70s and the number of pre-70s vehicles on the
road today is miniscule.  As a percent of scrapped vehicles it would be
larger but still very small.  Some appliances have longer lives than autos
(fridges 15-17 years) so if the shredder handles older appliances they
represent a potential source of PCBs.  Also, keep in mind that PCBs were
banned in the U.S. but bans in other countries may have come later so
imported vehicles may have continued to contain PCBs.

The fluff maven is Bill Baumgartner, Brentwood TN.  He has done testing for
a large part of the industry and many states.  He says about 1/3 of samples
still exceed 50 ppb (action level) even today.  No shredder can be sure of
never exceeding the action level.  He speculates that concentrations may
finally be dropping. For many years testing found only two Aroclors, more
recently he has detected a third which was the last one Monsanto
manufactured, Aroclor 1016.  So his theory is the stock of PCB-containing
auto components is slowly being depleted and passed through the system.

If you want to get in touch with Baumgartner, email me privately.

-Jeff Cantin


At 10:00 AM 12/16/1999 -0500, David  Herb wrote:
>Dear P2Tech,
>
>There are a number of references to the fact that automobile shredder
residue (ASR) may be classified as polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) bulk
product waste due to the presence of PCB laden plastics in the ASR.  Can
anyone on the list identify these PCB laden plastics and/or explain why
they contain PCBs?  
>
>Is plastic insulation from electric cables manufactured prior to the
manufacturing ban on PCBs to blame?  Are PCBs inadvertently generated as
minor impurities during the production of certain plastics?
>
>Thanks,
>
>
>
>
>David Herb
>Technical Assistance Engineer
>Pollution Prevention Section
>MDEQ - Environmental Assistance Division
>2nd Floor Town Center, 333 S. Capitol
>P.O. Box 30457
>Lansing, MI 48909-7957
>
>Phone: 517-241-8176
>Fax: 517-373-3675
>Email: herbdw@state.mi.us
>
>Environmental Assistance Center 1-800-662-9278
>Visit the MDEQ-EAD Website at: http://www.deq.state.mi.us/ead/
>
>
>
>

 ______ _____   _____
|  ____|  __ \ / ____| 		Jeff Cantin
| |__  | |__) | |  __  		ERG, Inc.
Eastern Research Group 		www.erg.com
| |____| | \ \| |__| | 		110 Hartwell Ave.
|______|_|  \_\\_____| 		Lexington, MA 02424-3136
                                jcantin@erg.com
                                jcantin@tiac.net