The link between the concentrations of PCBs in caulk and PCBs in the air or dust is not well understood by scientists Without pointing a finger, it is suffice to say that this is a huge potential liability issue for owners of older buildings and school systems around the country with older buildings. It is also a honking big issue for insurance companies.
The agency is doing research to determine the sources and levels of PCBs in buildings in the U.S. and to evaluate different strategies to reduce exposures. The results of this research will be used to provide further guidance to building owners as they develop and implement long-term solutions.
Where buildings were constructed or renovated between 1950 and 1978, EPA recommends that PCB-containing caulk be removed during planned renovations and repairs (when replacing windows, doors, roofs, ventilation, etc.). It is critically important to ensure that PCBs are not released to the air during replacement or repair of caulk in affected buildings.
At this time, EPA is recommending simple, commonsense work practices to prevent the release of PCBs during these operations. More information can be found at http://www.epa.gov/pcbsincaulk.
EPA will work directly with owners and managers facing serious problems to help them develop a practical approach to reduce exposures and prioritize the removal of caulk.
Anyone seeking technical guidance should contact the EPA at 1-888-835-5372.
More information on PCBs in caulk: http://www.epa.gov/pcbsincaulk