Washington, Jan 17 : A new research has suggested that old wood floor finishes in some homes may be a significant source of the banned, disease-causing pollutants known as environmental pollutants polychlorinated biphenyls PCBs.
Ruthann Rudel of the Silent Spring Institute and colleagues previously measured PCBs in indoor air and dust in homes in Cape Cod during 1999-2001.
They found detectable levels of PCBs in almost one in three of 120 residences. However, two of the homes had much higher concentrations of PCBs than the others.
To verify the initial finding, the researchers have now retested those two houses and they have evaluated blood PCB concentrations of the residents.
According to the findings of the new study, air and dust concentrations of PCBs remained elevated over five years between initial and follow-up sampling.
Further test revealed that residents of the two houses had higher levels of PCBs in their blood serum than the 95th percentile of a representative sample of the US population.
PCBs' likely source was brought to light when a resident reported using a particular floor finish, Fabulon, in the home in the 1950s and 1960s.
The researchers said that many buildings, including schools, might still harbour PCB-containing floor finishes or other products.
"Our findings suggest that the exposure potential posed by historic use of PCBs in building materials may be significantly underestimated," the researchers said.
The study is published in the online open access journal Environmental Health.