Data on the manufacture, use, inventory and disposal of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Poland
Falandysz J, Szymczyk K
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Falandysz J, Univ Warmia & Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland
Univ Gdansk, Dept Environm Chem & Ecotoxicol, PL-80952 Gdansk, Poland
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2001;10(3):189–193
In Poland there were originally manufactured two technical PCB formulations of moderate (40%) and high (63.6%) chlorine content. A moderate chlorinated PCB mixture called Tarnol (or Chlorowany bifenyl) was synthesized in 1971-1976 and used as dielectric oil in home manufactured transformers, while the highly chlorinated mixture Chlorofen was used as a lubricant and hydraulic fluid mainly in mining equipment. There is no data available indicating when materials and products containing PCBs appeared for the first time in Poland. In Poland there were also originally manufactured two PCN formulations of low (monochloronaphthalene) and high (tri- to octachloronaphthalene) chlorine content. Due to historical reasons some materials and equipment containing PCB/PCT/PCN could reach the present country's territory before 1945, ie. at the same time when they were available in neighbouring Germany. Some foreign technical PCB mixtures as well as materials, products and equipment containing PCBs were imported from abroad after 1945. After World War TI PCN formulations were synthesized in Poland. There is not yet a whole country-based register of materials, products and equipment containing PCBs, PCTs and/or PCNs. Nevertheless, some preliminary inventory work was done in the mid - 1990s and includes the public electric power supply sector. It has been assessed that roughly 35-50% of capacitors and 1% of transformers still in use in Poland contain PCBs. An assessed total amount of PCB contaminated oil in stock or service is up to 17500 t, i.e. 3500-5000 t in capacitors, 3000 t in transformers, and 8000-9500 t in other electromagnetic equipment such as breaker switches, choking coils, measuring transformers, starters, voltage regulators or other machinery. The up-to-date facilities for safe disposal of PCB wastes are non-existant in Poland. Over the past two years a strategy for management of hazardous wastes has been developed and includes development of the facilities for thermal decomposition. According to schedule, environmentally safe PCB waste treatment facilities have to be installed before 2010.