- a family of highly toxic chemical compounds consisting of two benzene rings in which chlorine takes the place of two or more hydrogen atoms: known to cause skin diseases and suspected of causing birth defects and cancer.
Origin of PCB
Also called polychlorinated biphenyl.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for pcb
A federal court found that it was contaminated by “a glut” of PCB Pydrauls supplied to General Electric by Monsanto.
Larger cohos were later found by the EPA to contain up to 1540 times the current permissible PCB limit.
- polychlorinated biphenyl
Word Origin and History for pcb
1966, from polychlorinated biphenyl.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Polychlorinated biphenyl; any of a family of industrial compounds produced by chlorination of biphenyl, noted primarily as an environmental pollutant that accumulates in animal tissue with resultant pathogenic and teratogenic effects.
- Short for polychlorinated biphenyl. Any of a family of very stable industrial compounds used as lubricants, heat-transfer fluids, and plasticizers. The manufacture and use of PCBs has been restricted since the 1970s because they are very harmful to the environment, being especially deadly to fish and invertebrates, and stay in the food chain for many years.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.