Q: What health problems do PCBs cause?
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