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Chemosphere. 2006 Jan;62(3):469-84. Epub 2005 Jun 8.

Isotope dilution analysis of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in transformer oil and global commercial PCB formulations by high resolution gas chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry.

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Shimadzu Techno-Research Inc., #1, Kyoto 604-8436, Japan.


Special polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) standards (native and isotope labeled) were analyzed by isotope dilution method using HRGC-HRMS. Multiple analysis of special PCBs standards by three different laboratories produced the relative response factors (RRFs) and relative standard deviations (RSDs %) was in the average of 0.979 and 3.86, respectively. Additionally, inter-laboratory analysis of various forms of transformer oil revealed the PCBs concentrations were in the following order; PCBs fortified transformer oil (940-1300 ng/g)>PCB polluted transformer oil (490-680 ng/g)>chemically degraded-transformer oil (480-490 ng/g) and PCBs free oil (ND-17 ng/g). Chemical degradation resulted in an order of magnitude decrease in the PCB concentrations. Specifically, higher chlorinated PCBs degraded into lower chlorinated PCBs. Also, composition of PCBs have been determined in PCB formulations from Japan (Kanechlor), Germany (Clophen), USA (Aroclor), Russia (Sovol) and Poland (Chlorofen). Major PCBs (24-PCB congeners) contributed 54-67%, 55-68%, 16-69%, 71% and 72% in Kanechlor, Clophen, Aroclor, Sovol and Chlorofen, respectively to total PCBs. The homologue pattern of Kanechlor, Aroclor and Clophen in technical fromulation was similar (e.g., Kanechlor-300 resembled to those of Clophen A-30 and Aroclor-1242). Furthermore, congener-specific distributions of major PCBs/dioxin-like PCBs and toxic equivalency quantities (TEQ) were calculated. Based on our tentative assumption calculations, cumulative production of five different technical PCB formulations, WHO-TEQ emission was estimated to be approximately 16.05 tons.

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