Despite being banned in the late 1970’s PCB’s are still very much in our daily lives. The use of PCB’s has been banned in products produced after 1979, but many products may not have been disposed of properly and leak into the environment. Today most of the exposure occurs in the kitchen. High fat foods absorb the chemicals that have been leaked. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)provides the following list of what contains PCB’s (complete list found on http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/tsd/pcbs/pubs/about.htm):

  • Transformers and capacitors
  • Other electrical equipment including voltage regulators, switches, reclosers, bushings, and electromagnets
  • Oil used in motors and hydraulic systems
  • Old electrical devices or appliances containing PCB capacitors
  • Fluorescent light ballasts
  • Cable insulation
  • Thermal insulation material including fiberglass, felt, foam, and cork
  • Adhesives and tapes
  • Oil-based paint
  • Caulking
  • Plastics
  • Carbonless copy paper
  • Floor finish

It has been known for years that these harmful PCB’s can cause cancer and other health issues on the body’s systems. Most recently a study completed by the National Institute of Health on PCB’s and their effects on fertility. The study was published in the Environmental Health Perspectives and it included 501 couples that were trying to conceive during 2005-2009. The couples supplied blood tests to determine the level of chemical at the beginning of the study, kept a menstruation log and results of all home pregnancy tests completed during the study. This continued over the years of the study and researchers discovered that as the chemical levels in the couple’s increased their ability to conceive decreased (study states 18-21% in females and 17-29% in males). While there is no way to completely avoid exposure to these chemicals, one can avoid eating processed foods, microwave foods in plastic containers and foods that have been exposed to pesticides.

You can read all about the research study here: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/11/14/environmental-chemicals-may-hurt-chances-of-pregnancy