PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are industrial products or chemicals. They were banned in the United States in 1979, based on that fact that PCBs could adversely impact the health of human beings and the environment in unintended ways. Beginning in the 1920s until their ban in 1979, there were approximately 1.5 billion pounds of PCBs produced for use in products such as televisions, refrigerators, electrical insulators and microscope oils. Before people knew about some of the consequences of the widespread use of PCBs, they were sprayed on dirt roads as a way to minimize the dust.
More on PCBs
Before being banned in 1979, PCBs leeched into the water, soil and air during manufacture and use. PCBs manufacturing wastes were frequently dumped on landfills or dump sites. Accidental leaks and spills at manufacturing facilities could also act as another source of PCBs entering our environment.
Not limited to the United States alone, PCBs are found worldwide. Initial research results from the 1960s showed-up traces of PCBs in animals and people around the world. The traces of PCBs found in living organisms was not limited to heavily populated cities such a New York, but were also found in remote and far away locations such as the Arctic. The findings which revealed such persistent and widespread contamination were a factor contributing to the banning of PCBs in 1979.
PCBs can breakdown and degrade in the environment, with the breakdown process being dependent on the chemical composition of the PCBs. Typically, the breakdown occurs in the environment by microorganisms or sunlight. When the PCBs are in surface soils, shallow water or in the air, sunlight plays a key role in the breakdown. When the PCBs are found in sediments or soil, it is the microorganisms such as fungi, algae or bacteria that biodegrade the chemicals.
Due to the fact that PCBs now exist in sediments (matter deposited by some natural process such as wind, water, ice, etc.) man needs to evaluate whether or not it is better and safer to attempt to remove contaminated sediments from our waterways, or to leave them in place. Contaminated sediments left in place could be covered with clean sediments, and the PCBs allowed to biodegrade naturally. Scientists propose that a barrier or a cap can be used to contain the contaminated sediments, preventing them from entering our environment.
Unfortunately, all existing alternatives to contain or minimize the contamination present human health, environmental and financial concerns.
Effectively Minimizing Human Contamination
Yet another consequence of PCBs is occupational exposure. According to a study published in Human & Experimental Toxicology, the toxic compounds of PCBs, although now banned in most industrial countries, were used for 40 years, and are still present in existing electrical equipment worldwide.
Study researchers found that PCBs have a marked tendency to accumulate in the adipose tissue (fat-storing tissue) of the human body. The study featured the case of a Yugoslavian woman who had been occupationally exposed to PCBs, and upon testing, showed elevated levels of PCB chemicals in her body adipose tissues and serum. Over time, she had developed symptoms of general fatigue, muscle pain, abdominal pains and bloating, and chloracne (: a skin eruption resembling acne, but resulting from exposure to chlorine or its chemical compounds).
The study researchers employed the Hubbard Method of Detoxification as prior studies and research had demonstrated that it mobilized and enhanced elimination of xenobiotics (chemical substances foreign to the biological system), including PCBs.
The Hubbard Method of Detoxification employed in the study was a medically supervised regimen done on an individual basis, and continued until which time stable, clinical improvement was achieved in the case subject. The program regimen consisted of daily aerobic exercise, and frequent periods of low-heat, dry sauna. Polyunsaturated fats and Niacin (a B vitamin essential for normal function of the nervous system and gastrointestinal tract); vitamins and minerals, and daily doses of liquids adequate to replace body fluids lost in sweating were also part of the daily regimen.
The case subject spent 23 days on the detoxification program, until which time her physical complaints demonstrated a clinically stable remission. She also reported a persistent general state of well-being attained while on the last week of the Hubbard Detoxification Program.
Post-detoxification testing results showed the detoxification program attained a reduction in PCBs in the serum and adipose tissues of this young woman who had been occupationally exposed to these highly toxic chemicals.
The life-changing benefits of the Hubbard Method of Detoxification are available today as part of the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. The Narconon Sauna (Narconon New-Life Detoxification Program employs the same, highly successful and proven regimen of detoxification to rid the body of drug and toxic residuals.