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Toxicological Profile for Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
The ATSDR toxicological profile succinctly characterizes the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for the hazardous substance described here. Each peer-reviewed profile identifies and reviews the key literature that describes a hazardous substance's toxicologic properties. Other pertinent literature is also presented, but is described in less detail than the key studies. The complete list of topics covered (chapter titles) is shown at the left and in more detail further down this page.
The focus of the profile is on health and toxicologic information. Therefore, each profile begins with a Public Health Statement that summarizes in nontechnical language, a substance's relevant properties.
A useful two page information sheet, the ToxFAQsTM, is also available.
In order to access the ATSDR toxicological profiles' PDF files below, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader.
You may download that program for free from this link to Adobe and then use it to access (open) the files below that are labeled as PDF files.
The table of contents and list of individual PDF files are given below.
- Quick Reference for Health Care Providers
- Peer review
- List of figures
- List of tables
1. Public Health Statement, 125 KB
- 1.1 What is this substance?
1.2 What happens to it when it enters the environment?
1.3 How might I be exposed to it?
1.4 How can it enter and leave my body?
1.5 How can it affect my health?
1.6 How can it affect children?
1.7 How can families reduce the risk of exposure?
1.8 Is there a medical test to determine whether I have been exposed to it?
1.9 What recommendations has the federal government made to protect human health?
1.10 Where can I get more information?
- 2.1 Background and environmental exposures in the United
2.2 Summary of health effects
2.3 Minimal risk levels (MRLS)
- 3.1 Introduction
3.2 Discussion of health effects by route of exposure
3.3 Health effects in wildlife potentially relevant to human health
3.5 Mechanisms of action
3.6 Endocrine disruption
3.7 Children's susceptibility
3.8 Biomarkers of exposure and effect
3.9 Interactions with other chemicals
3.10 Populations that are unusually susceptible
3.11 Methods for reducing toxic effects
3.12 Adequacy of the database
- 4.1 Chemical identity
4.2 Physical and chemical properties
- 5.1 Production
5.2 Import / Export
- 6.1 Overview
6.2 Releases to the environment
6.3 Environmental fate
6.4 Levels monitored or estimated in the environment
6.5 General population and occupational exposure
6.6 Exposures of children
6.7 Populations with potentially high exposure
6.8 Adequacy of the database
- 7.1 Biological materials
7.2 Environmental samples
7.3 Adequacy of the database
- A. ATSDR Minimal risk levels and worksheets
B. User's guide
C. Acronyms, abbreviations, and symbols
E. Summary report for the expert panel review of April 13, 2000
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 2000. Toxicological profile for Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service.
All ATSDR toxicological profile PDF files are electronic conversions from paper copy or other electronic ASCII text files. This conversion may have resulted in character translation or format errors. Users are referred to the original paper copy of the toxicological profile for the official text, figures, and tables. Original paper copies can be obtained via the directions on the toxicological profile home page, which also contains other important information about the profiles.
Where can I get more information?
If you have questions or concerns, please contact your community or state health or environmental quality department or:
For more information, contact:
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences
1600 Clifton Road NE, Mailstop F-57
Atlanta, GA 30329-4027
Phone: 1-800-CDC-INFO · 888-232-6348 (TTY)
Email: Contact CDC-INFO
ATSDR can also tell you the location of occupational and environmental health clinics. These clinics specialize in recognizing, evaluating, and treating illnesses resulting from exposure to hazardous substances.
Information line and technical assistance:
To order toxicological profiles, contact:
National Technical Information Service
5285 Port Royal Road
Springfield, VA 22161
Phone: 800-553-6847 or 703-605-6000
Some PDF files may be electronic conversions from paper copy or other electronic ASCII text files. This conversion may have resulted in character translation or format errors. Users are referred to the original paper copy of the toxicological profile for the official text, figures, and tables. Original paper copies can be obtained via the directions on the toxicological profile home page, which also contains other important information about the profiles.
The information contained here was correct at the time of publication. Please check with the appropriate agency for any changes to the regulations or guidelines cited.
- Page last reviewed: January 21, 2015
- Page last updated: January 21, 2015
- Content source: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry