Who's the PCB villain? Who is responsible for most of the PCBs that find their way into Puget Sound? Us. We are the bad guys. From the Lake Washington study:
"Approximately 70 percent of the tPCB load to Lake Washington comes from local tributary watersheds around the lake and their stormwater runoff."This is not unique to the Lake Washington watershed in the Seattle area, similar results were found in studies of the Spokane River and Puget Sound in Washington, and San Francisco Bay, Chicago, and Toronto.
How do we pollute Puget Sound with PCBs? Numerous, on-going, diffuse urban sources such as flaking paint or abraded joint caulks used in concrete surfaces and consumer products like paint and printer ink. Thanks to the PCB loophole, we can actually buy PCB-contaminated products and we can contribute to PCB pollution through disposal of apparently-benign things like printed documents.
We're going to have to look close to home to figure out how to solve our PCB problem. Can we give up important life-affirming substances like yellow ink with up to 50 ppm PCBs?