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Q:
What health problems do PCBs cause?

A:

Health problems caused by PCBs are as follows according to the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA"):

  • Cancer - Data strongly suggests that PCBs are probable human carcinogens
  • Immune effects - Probable issues including decrease in size of the thymus gland, reductions in the response of the immune system following a challenge with red blood cells, a decreased resistance to Epstein-Barr virus and other infections, susceptibility to pneumonia and viral infections.
  • Reproductive effects - Potentially serious effects on the reproductive system such as a reduction in birth weight, reduction in conception rates, reduction in gestational age, reduction of live birth rates, and a reduction in sperm count. 
  • Neurological effects - Potential issues such as deficits in neurological development, including visual recognition, short-term memory and learning. These effects can present themselves due to exposure of ones self to PCBs or may present itself through the birth of a child by a person who was previously exposed to PCBs.
  • Endocrine effects - Potential decrease in thyroid hormone levels
  • Other possible effects - Possible elevation in blood pressure, serum triglyceride, and serum cholesterol