December 2nd 2007
Contamination of public buildings with PCBs used as softeners in the 1970's in sealants and wall and ceiling paints can still be detected. If certain threshold values in indoor air are exceeded the source has to be decontaminated. This requires an effective and fast determination of the PCB concentration in indoor air. Thermodesorption GC–MS is a method especially suitable for this purpose. Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) are highly toxic and carcinogenic chemical substances. Although first prepared in 1864, they have been industrially manufactured since 1929. The highest production amounts worldwide were recorded in the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s. In the 1970s their use as additives for building materials was widespread because of their flame inhibiting and noise reduction properties.