Steps to Safe Renovation and Abatement of Buildings That Have PCB-Containing Caulk
This information is designed to assist building owners and abatement contractors who may be handling PCB-containing or PCB-contaminated building materials during planned renovation or repair activities or planned PCB abatement efforts in older buildings. The following pages include information on:
Facts about PCBs in Caulk - Provides basic information on PCBs and how to identify PCB-containing materials, primarily caulk.
Steps to Safe Renovation and Repair Activities - Provides guidance on safe work practices during renovation or repair projects in older buildings where PCB-containing caulk and PCB-contaminated surrounding materials could be encountered.
How to Test for PCBs and Characterize Suspect Materials - Discusses building characterization and sampling procedures to identify PCBs and determine the extent of contamination.
Steps to Safe PCB Abatement Activities - Provides information on steps that should be considered for projects intended to remove and dispose of known or suspected PCB-containing caulk (i.e., PCB abatement activities). You can find the PCB regulations that support this information at Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 761 (40 CFR Part 761).
Summary of Suggested Tools and Methods for Caulk Removal - Describes tools for removal, advantages and disadvantages, and protective measures to consider in table format.
Regardless of the size of a project involving potentially contaminated building materials, contractors and building owners should be especially aware of the impact of their work in buildings occupied by high-risk populations, such as schools and daycare centers. The information provided in this document is intended solely for guidance and does not replace or supplant the requirements of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) or the PCB regulations at 40 CFR Part 761. Those responsible for renovation, repair, or abatement activities of potential PCB-containing or PCB-contaminated materials should review and understand the regulatory requirements, and are encouraged to consult the EPA or environmental professionals experienced with PCB cleanup activities. This document does not impose requirements or obligations on EPA or the public. The use of the word "should" in this document reflects an EPA recommendation, not a requirement.
In addition to the PCB regulations under TSCA, renovators and abatement personnel should also be aware that their activities may also disturb asbestos-containing materials and/or lead-based paint. Read more about EPA's regulations and guidance for lead-based paint and asbestos. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also has standards and guidance on the hazards of lead and asbestos specifically for workers and employers.
The use of the term "caulk" in this document refers to any building joint, window, or door sealer or filler found on the inside or outside of a building.
Example Decision Flowchart for Classifying Suspect Building Materials
- Items in blue above are links to relevant sections of this website
- Items in pink are potential sources of PCB contamination
- Items in yellow are EPA standards or levels of concern
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