Polychlorinated biphenyl compounds (PCBs) are a class of209 individual compounds (known as congeners) for which there are no known natural sources. PCBs are carcinogenic and bioaccumulative compounds. For over 40 years, PCBs were manufactured in the United States. The flame resistant property of PCBs made them ideal chemicals for use as flame-retardants, and as coolants and lubricants in transformers and other electrical equipment. PCBs were also used in heating coils, carbonless paper, degreasers, varnishes, lacquers, waterproofing material, and cereal boxes. In addition, they were frequently used in the manufacturing of plastics, adhesives, and paints.
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USGS Numbered Series
PCB concentrations in Pere Marquette River and Muskegon River watersheds, 2002