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PCBs are a group of man-made chemical compounds that were once used in many industrial, construction and electrical applications. They were widely used by many industries because of their low electrical conductivity, high boiling point, chemical stability and flame-retardant properties. The largest use of PCBs was in electrical equipment, including transformers and capacitors, but they were also widely used in a variety of other applications, including hydraulic fluids, dust control, flame retardants, lubricants, paints, sealants, wood preservatives, inks, dyes and plasticizers. PCBs have also been found in a variety of non-liquid materials, including construction materials such as insulation, roofing and siding materials. PCBs were made in the U.S. for 50 years until the manufacturing of PCBs was banned in 1979. Their import, export and distribution in commerce were also banned, and PCBs uses were restricted to totally enclosed applications.
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