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Australia - Final Regulatory Action
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) CAS number:
Date circular:

Chemical name: 1,1'-Biphenyl, chloro derivs.

Final regulatory action has been taken for the category: Industrial

Final regulatory action: The chemical is Severely Restricted

Use or uses prohibited by the final regulatory action:

All new uses (apart from destruction by treatment facilities). Existing uses being phased out. (This applies to PCBs at a concentration $50 mg/kg and $50 g in quantity.)

Use or uses that remain allowed:

PCBs currently in use in equipment (such as transformers and capacitors) are permitted to remain in use in the short to medium term (depending on location, concentration and quantity) but are being phased out of use. PCBs at concentrations between 2 and 50 mg/kg and/or in quantities <50 g may continue to be used but their disposal is regulated. Use of PCBs at concentrations # 2 mg/kg is not regulated.

The final regulatory action was based on a risk or hazard evaluation: Yes

Summary of the final regulatory action:

Severely restricted

The reasons for the final regulatory action were relevant to: Human health and environment

Summary of known hazards and risks to human health:

Causes skin complaints, e.g. chloracne, liver damage, suppression of immune system, damage to nervous and reproductive systems; probable carcinogen.

Expected effect of the final regulatory action in relation to human health:

Should result in reduced exposure of humans to PCBs as they are phased out of use and there is raised awareness among those most likely to come into contact with them.

Summary of known hazards and risks to the environment:

Toxic to range of organisms; may cause mutations in plants, reduced reproduction in sea mammals; propensity to bioaccumulate and bioconcentrate.

Expected effect of the final regulatory action in relation to the environment:

Should also result in reduced levels of PCBs in the environment in the long term.

Date of entry into force of the final regulatory action: 01/06/1996