OT: PCB Toxicity (was: Switching PSU...)

From: Roger Merchberger <zmerch_at_30below.com>
Date: Tue Jul 25 20:11:51 2000

Rumor has it that Tony Duell may have mentioned these words:

>and someone else said...

>> Would I not have to open them to make that determination? I though they
>> contained PCBs or somesuch toxic chemical.


>Secondly, the electrolyte in these capacitors is not PCB-based (PCBs are
>not electrolytes anyway...). The electrolyte is not particularly harmful.
>Actually, according to somebody who works with _large_ transformers and
>capacitors, yes, PCBs are dangerous _in quantity_, but unless you're
>really silly, the amount in one capacitor, or even all the capacitors in
>an HV PSU, is unlikely to do you any harm. I can't really comment on this
>-- it's not my field.

Did a study back in High School (near 15 years ago, so bear with me...) on
PBB (PolyBrominatedBiphenyls) and PCB (PolyChlorinatedBiphenyls) - excuse
the spelling if it ain't perfect - but IIRC PCB's aren't too harmful to you
- until injested. They're fire retardant chemicals, and they got mixed up
with batches of Dairy Feed Supplements at an elevator here in Michigan, USA
back in '75 (again, IIRC).

Moderate to high concentrations *in the body* do bad, bad things,
especially to small children & unborn fetuses (or would that be fetii? ;-)
and it does travel thru cows milk, women's breast milk & the placenta. It
can cause birth defects, miscarriages & serious mental problems, as (once
again, IIRC) it can affect your nervous system in a bad way.

So, if you're not feeding 50 pound bags to your dairy cattle, or serving up
"Capacitor Stew for Two" for you and your pregnant wife, I wouldn't worry
about the toxicity level of any PCB's (should they even exist) in caps.

At least that's what the voices tell me... ;^>

Take care,
Roger "Merch" Merchberger
Roger "Merch" Merchberger   ---   sysadmin, Iceberg Computers
Recycling is good, right???  Ok, so I'll recycle an old .sig.
If at first you don't succeed, nuclear warhead
disarmament should *not* be your first career choice.
Received on Tue Jul 25 2000 - 20:11:51 BST

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