Why to avoid PCBS
Individuals can be exposed to PCBs through breathing in contaminated air, eating contaminated food, by skin contact with old electrical equipment that contains PCBs. According to Wikipedia, the most commonly observed health effects in those exposed to extremely high levels of PCBs are skins conditions, such as rashes, liver damage, Yusho disease, irregular menstrual cycles, and lowered immune responses. Dioxins are considered highly toxic and responsible for reproductive and developmental problems. They can damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and cause cancer. The suspected effects in adults include liver damage and alterations in heme metabolism, serum lipid levels, thyroid functions as well as diabetes and immunological effects. Other effects may include dental and sexual development. Intrauterine exposure to dioxins in the workplace often leads to babies who later develop changes in liver function, thyroid hormone levels and decreased levels of learning and intelligence. Mothers who eat large amounts of fish contaminated with PCBs are known to have smaller babies who often suffer from memory problems. Other studies suggest that child immune systems were affected in children born to mothers exposed to higher levels of PCBs, often through breast milk. Studies by the United States Envionmental Protection Agency have also found increases in malignant melanoma and rare liver cancers in PCB workers.