Comments of the Council on Wage and Price Stability Before the US Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Quality Service: Prohibition of PCB-Containing Equipment or Machinery and Liquid Polychlorinated Biphenlys (PCBs) in Federally- Inspected Meat Establishments, Poultry Product Establishments and Egg Product Plants

by Elizabeth Pinkston on December 4, 1980
by Elizabeth Pinkston, R. Robert Russell, Paula L. Abrams and Thomas D. Hopkins

The Council on Wage and Price Stability recommended against adoption at this time of the proposed regulations requiring that equipment containing fluid polychlorinated biphenlys (PCB’s) be removed from food-related industrial plants. The rules were proposed jointly by the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency. They were designed to reduce the risk to human health from accidental spills or leakage of PCB fluid, which can cause serious contamination of food. According to the Council, the rules could have the perverse effect of increasing human and environmental exposure to PCB’s, because of the risk of improper disposal. No approved facilities currently exist for disposing of highly concentrated PCB’s. Even though the proposed rules would not take effect for 6 months to a year after such planned facilities become available, these facilities could soon be overtaxed by the large quantities of PCB’s needing disposal. The Council also pointed out the draining PCB fluid from equipment and trasnsporting it to disposal sites could present additional exposure hazards.

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