PCBs were used as plasticisers in sealants and plastics and are environmental and health hazards. It is classified ass hazardous waste and is a prohibited material.

The acronym PCB stands for Polychlorinated biphenyls which is a collective name for a large group of chemically similar organic compounds. Most PCB-compounds form viscous oil-like fluids. Due to the substance stability and other valuable technical properties they were use in, among other things, electrical appliances and as a softener in plastics and joint sealing compounds. In Sweden, large amounts of PCBs were used in construction during the 1960s housing projects "The million programme".

Environmental and health hazards

PCBs can spread through leakage from sealing joints in buildings, for instance. If it reaches the environment its transported by wind and rain. PCBs has a long decomposition time and when it is spread through the environment it bioaccumulates in the food chain, which means that it is very easily picked up by living organisms. According to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket), our health is mainly affected through our sonsumption of foodstuffs such as fish, meat and milk. Cautions have gone out due to health effects such as fertility problems, hormonal and immunological problems and cancer.

PCBs is to be treated as toxic waste, and the Swedish government has ordained that property owners are obliged to inspect and sanitize buildings erected or renovated between 1956 and 1973. Smaller properties such as villas and row houses are exempt from this obligation.

Safe Control attends to PCBs analyses in cooperation with subcontractors approved by us.

Important information

Sealants can in addition also contain asbestos, heavy metals and chlorinated paraffins. Please send two samples of the same sealant in order to get an overall analysis.

Sampling instructions

The amount of material required is about 10-15 grams. If you cut off a piece of soft joint, you should take 40-50 mm. Each piece of sample is wrapped in aluminum foil and then put into a bag (we can provide sample bags).


Catarina Wernlund
Phone: +46 (0)31-65 64 93

Sandra Johansson
Phone: +46 (0)31-65 64 88