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    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were added to certain marine vessel bottom paints as a plasticizer to improve the adhesion and durability of the paint. The most common PCB formulation used to amend such paints was Aroclor 1254. Fugitive Aroclor-containing paint chips generated from vessel maintenance and repair operations represent a potential source of PCB contamination to sediments. Limited published studies indicate that Aroclor-containing paint is largely inert and exhibits low PCB leaching into water; however, the rate and degree of leaching of PCBs from paint chips have not been directly studied. This laboratory-based study evaluated the rate and extent of leaching of PCBs from paint chips into freshwater. The results of this investigation demonstrate that the rate of PCB dissolution from paint chips decreased rapidly and exponentially over time. Based on this study, it is estimated that the rate of leaching of PCBs from paint chips would cease after approximately 3 years of exposure to water. When all leachable PCBs were exhausted, it is estimated that less than 1% of the mass of PCBs in the paint chips was amenable to dissolution. The results of this experiment suggest that Aroclor-containing paint chips found in sediments are likely short-term sources of dissolved-phase PCB to pore or surface waters and that the majority of the PCBs in paint chips remain in the paint matrix and unavailable for partitioning into water. © 2021. The Author(s).


    Allen D Uhler, Jeffery H Hardenstine, Deborah A Edwards, Guilherme R Lotufo. Leaching Rate of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) from Marine Paint Chips. Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology. 2021 Aug;81(2):324-334

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    PMID: 34196742

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