PCBs in open applications Though the use of PCBs is prohibited since long time products containing PCBs are still present in society. The Swedish EPA summarises the current state of knowledge in Sweden and to inform of our experiences of PCBs in buildings and facilities. Share Contact Listen Since the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency in the mid 1990´s drew attention to the problems of PCB in buildings several measures to investigate and clear up buildings from PCBs has been taken. By investigating PCB occurrence, relevant waste streams can be identified, which can create conditions for environmentally sound waste management. Meeting with stakeholders about PCB Since 1998, active measures have been undertaken in Sweden to remove PCBs from our buildings. In 1997 the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency published a report from a survey that showed that PCBs leach from sealants in a facade. The PCBs then spread to the ground outside the building, to the air outside the building and indoors, and to materials that are adjacent to the PCB-laden sealants. In the autumn of 1997, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency summoned representatives for the building and property sector to a meeting, in order to hear how the industry intended to deal with the problem of PCBs in existing buildings. Removing PCBs from buildings and facilities This became the start of a comprehensive initiative to remove PCBs from Swedish buildings and facilities. The work has focused on finding and removing all PCBs in open use in buildings and facilities, in other words sealants and flooring compounds. The clearance of these compounds prevents the continued spread of PCBs to the environment and also reduces the PCB levels in the air indoors. Initially the work was performed voluntarily, with no support from legislation. Information was sent out to property owners, consultants, entrepreneurs etcetera about PCBs and how they should be dealt with, and many property owners were quick to make an inventory and clear their buildings of PCBs. In 2007, a new ordinance was introduced in Sweden containing requirements on inventory and clearance of PCBs in sealants and flooring compounds. According to the new ordinance, the clearance work was supposed to be completed by 30 June 2016, but there is still work remaining. About the report This report has been written to summarise the current state of knowledge in Sweden and to inform of our experiences. The report provides a written and illustrated description of how inventory and sampling can be achieved and methods for successfully decontaminating sealants with regard to people and the environment. The report offers examples of suitable equipment and machinery for decontamination and describe situations in which various tools and methods are good to use.