• WARNING: Tube/Valve amplifiers use potentially LETHAL HIGH VOLTAGES.
    Building, troubleshooting and testing of these amplifiers should only be
    performed by someone who is thoroughly familiar with
    the safety precautions around high voltages.

What would most of you do?

I have the opportunity to buy NOS ex military transformers and chokes.. real nice parmekos etc
BUT
they probably have pcb oil in them
SO
WHat to do.
My understanding is that pcbs in a fire a toxic but are they toxic if they dont catch fire.. given the toxic chemicals given off in a house fire would it matter anyway?
Thaey are a pretty good price but I need some advice
Thanks
 
I would grab them in a heart beat.

The only whay pcb's will effect you is if ingested. Regardless of what anyone tells you this is the only way they can give you cancer.


Toxic gases from burning are from oxygen starved inceneration only. But this wouldn't really be a concern for you unless you planned on making a really hot amp LOL.
PERIOD END OF STORE


Nick
 
nhuwar said:
The only whay pcb's will effect you is if ingested. Regardless of what anyone tells you this is the only way they can give you cancer.

And where is your medical degree from? http://www.foxriverwatch.com/skin_cancer_pcbs.html

Me, I wouldn't touch them. In the grand scheme of things, transformers and chokes are a) cheap, and b) more useful if wound to your specifications or at least ordered for what you need. A pile of assorted random transformers and chokes does not a good amplifier make.
 
I have worked with many people in the power industry and they all know the origins of cancer and pcb's.

Also talk to the thousands of poeple who worked with it and ask them.......

You ask me where is my medical degree and I tell you the site where you are finding your data is a joke....

Come back with aome real data from a reputable source and then we can talk.

Try finding a paper from the Mayo clinic on the subject Hmmmmmmmmm.

Nick
 
nhuwar said:
I have worked with many people in the power industry and they all know the origins of cancer and pcb's.

I've worked in the power industry for about 15 years, and used to be involved with pcb disposal services. As a general rule, contact with the skin is a non-issue. Ingestion is the larger concern. It has to be absorbed into the body's fat cells, where it remains for a looooong time. Granted, I wouldn't rub askarel into an open wound, but then again, if I do, maybe I deserve cancer.

Keep in mind these insulating fluids contain PCB's. They are a synthetic suspension with other base fluids. The study referred to may just be the result of contact with these base fluids, not specifically the PCB's. Don't know.

nhuwar said:
the site where you are finding your data is a joke....

Always a good thing to check our sources. I suspect you may be right. If it's one thing the internet is good for, it's letting any Tom Dick or Harry to post what he will as fact. Haven't I just done that ???
 
Buy them before they are gone! They don't give off a cancer causing vapor while they are in use for crying out loud. If you notice a leak use rubber gloves when you change out the transformer. Other than that you don't have much to worry about. I am telling you this as a professional industrial electrician of 27 years. You have nothing to worry about.
 

ak_47_boy

Member
2006-09-24 4:27 pm
My grampa washed his hands in PCB oil while working at Ontario Hydro for the good part of 20 years before they changed to mineral oil. He was a painter and said it took dry paint off his hands better than anything else. He died of pneumonia last year at the age of 94.

Based on this i would say the PCBs are relatively harmless.
 
zigzagflux said:


I've worked in the power industry for about 15 years, and used to be involved with pcb disposal services. As a general rule, contact with the skin is a non-issue. Ingestion is the larger concern. It has to be absorbed into the body's fat cells, where it remains for a looooong time.

This is pretty much correct. The scary aspect of PCBs is pretty much that they never ever break down. Spill some, leak some, ain't *ever* going away... Get some on your hands by accident, make a sandwich... we're talking about DIYers and something you're going to have in your livingroom...

What would I do? Well, my father was a Hazmat worker. He and his entire crew died after cleaning up a spill. Not PCBs, but they were never told what it was. It wasn't a quick or a pretty death. He was 49. Most of the guys on his team were in their twenties. All dead of 'exceedingly rare' cancers.

PCBs aren't that potent (well, not unless you ingest it), but I'm inclined to treat carcinogens that stick around indefinitely in your body and your immediate environment with some care. 'Causes cancer in twenty years' sure looked far away when I was eighteen. For one thing, I have no idea how nasty a toxic load I already have to begin with. Growing up half a mile from a twenty different steel mills probably didn't do me any favors.

Probably comes down to genetics if it matters. I've got cancer in my family, I'm not touching them with a ten foot pole.

Oh, and PCB also tended to be contaminated with dioxins. Now dioxins... those are a bit scarier.

Grandpa used to tell stories about when the Mahoning river still froze in winter... they used to go ice skating... Hasn't happened in seventy five years...

[edit: went and checked the EPA's PCB FAQ real quick-- doesn't look like they're a carcinogen in humans unless contaminated with dioxin. The real problem is they mess up young kids and cause some endocrine damage in adults. Humans seem to have some means of mitigating the damage. seriously f***s up animals tho.]
 
Let it be know too. Pcb was a far better product then any dielectric oil on the market today.


I'm talking about what it was made to do.

And too if you look at chemicals we use alot of today there are thing's just as carcinogenic as it was. It was just the time when it was found.

Take for instance paint and varnish remover which contains methylene chloride as one of it's primary components.

Which is extremely toxic and extremely poisonous far worse then pcb.

Here's a link http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/M4420.htm

Right on the first page it says cancer causing but you can still buy it. It will destoy your eyes if it gets in them. It will destroy your internal orgins if ingested. And ALL FORMS OF CONTACT ARE CASUES OF CANCER.


Or another one hydrofloric acid" not hydrochloric" is a acid that if we didn't have there would be no semiconductor industry. It's the opnly acid that can etch silcon "ie glass" and one of only 2 chemicals in the world that will etch glass. the other being cesium hydoxide.

It's the only chemical that scares me. Upon contact with the skin HF attacks the bone casueing decalcifcation.

It's a know mutagen, all forms of contact cause cancer and inhalation of vapors are fatal at low concentrations.


Food for thought.


Nick
 
nhuwar said:
I have worked with many people in the power industry and they all know the origins of cancer and pcb's.

First, accepting, arguendo, that you are correct that PCBs are only harmful if you ingest them, I still stand by not having them in my (or your) house. By purchasing the military surplus parts, you are allowing the military to not clean up their own mess. You are, in essence, moving a toxic waste dump to your house where you are under risk of dropping, or burning, or damaging the transformer in some way such that you release these chemicals.

Even if you don't do that, they are eventually going to find their way to a dump somewhere. The problem with PCBs is that not only are they nasty, they don't break down, and they bioaccumulate in the food chain. So, these transformers that you are getting for cheap, rather than being disposed of properly are likely going to become an environmental danger. My guess is that anyone who is looking for super bargain transformers is not going to pay the extra money for proper disposal when the time comes that they are dumped. Moreover, a pile of surplus parts is probably more likely to end up in the garbage after sitting around and not really being that useful.

This is the same reason I don't want people to use mercury rectifiers as they eventually become all of our problem.

nhuwar said:
Also talk to the thousands of poeple who worked with it and ask them.......

I lived in a town overrun with PCBs that were dumped by a company that up and left without cleaning it up. Decades later it is still a mess. I trust the people there more than your power industry buddies who have a vested interest in saying they are safe. People will delude themselves until they are the ones dying.

nhuwar said:
Try finding a paper from the Mayo clinic on the subject Hmmmmmmmmm.

The evidence is overwhelming that PCBs are nasty.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gallbladder-cancer/DS00425/DSECTION=9
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gallbladder-cancer/DS00425/DSECTION=4

And here's one just for you: http://copa.org/med/penis.htm

and a list of more article on how nasty this stuff is:
http://copa.org/pcbs.html

So, as I say, I don't want them in my house, and I stand by the contention that trusting a 40 year old seal to keep carcinogens out of the environment is foolish. Moreover, trusting them to not leach through skin is also foolish.
 
nhuwar said:
Let it be know too. Pcb was a far better product then any dielectric oil on the market today.

I'm talking about what it was made to do.


Oh, it's true. In the same way we'll never fully replace lead in paint or electronics, and nothing out there was as versatile as asbestos. No sarcasm, I'm totally serious too.


And too if you look at chemicals we use alot of today there are thing's just as carcinogenic as it was. It was just the time when it was found.

Take for instance paint and varnish remover which contains methylene chloride as one of it's primary components.

Which is extremely toxic and extremely poisonous far worse then pcb.

Here's a link http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/M4420.htm

Right on the first page it says cancer causing but you can still buy it. It will destoy your eyes if it gets in them. It will destroy your internal orgins if ingested. And ALL FORMS OF CONTACT ARE CASUES OF CANCER.


It says 'may cause cancer'. There's a specific reason for that wording-- it causes cancer in lab animals and it causes in-vitro mutation in testing on human cells, but has not been epidemiologically linked to cancer. As in... workers who handle it for some reason do not show elevated cancer risk.

It also said 'may be absorbed through the skin'. Both were qualified.

And yes, I'm also sure there will be a ton of things we use commonly today that will turn out to be hugely toxic in unexpected ways in the future. Doesn't mean I'm going to run out and eat a PCB sandwich, or install lead drinking pipes in my home!

Also-- yeah, Methylene Chloride is nasty. I used to use it, found it impossible to keep the gloves from tearing, decided not to use it anymore. Couldn't keep it from somehow finding a way to soak my hands.


Food for thought.
Nick

No no, don't eat it! :)
 
xiphmont said:


Oh, it's true. In the same way we'll never fully replace lead in paint or electronics, and nothing out there was as versatile as asbestos. No sarcasm, I'm totally serious too.



It says 'may cause cancer'. There's a specific reason for that wording-- it causes cancer in lab animals and it causes in-vitro mutation in testing on human cells, but has not been epidemiologically linked to cancer. As in... workers who handle it for some reason do not show elevated cancer risk.

It also said 'may be absorbed through the skin'. Both were qualified.

And yes, I'm also sure there will be a ton of things we use commonly today that will turn out to be hugely toxic in unexpected ways in the future. Doesn't mean I'm going to run out and eat a PCB sandwich, or install lead drinking pipes in my home!

Also-- yeah, Methylene Chloride is nasty. I used to use it, found it impossible to keep the gloves from tearing, decided not to use it anymore. Couldn't keep it from somehow finding a way to soak my hands.



No no, don't eat it! :)


Personally I would think that as long as the PCBs are INSIDE the transformers that there is not much to worry about eh? I am assuming that the OP washes his hands.
 
G said:



Personally I would think that as long as the PCBs are INSIDE the transformers that there is not much to worry about eh? I am assuming that the OP washes his hands.


Any seal that old... my dad couldn't keep the oil in his Corvair for more than a month!

Semi-unrelated story, one of my earliest memories-- my dad had made off with a huge stock of surplus mercury switches from one of the first of the local mills to go under when I was just a young kid. I was *fascinated* with the things (liquid metal! shiny!) but he figured they weren't dangerous unless the glass broke, and they were useful, and he'd keep them where I couldn't find them.

Of *course* I knew where he hid them. There were only so many places to look in our house...

...And I unboxed each one, broke it open by cracking it with one of my dresser drawers, picked up the little shiny beads one by one and made a big puddle of the stuff (well, several inches across). I remember the the screaming when they found me happily splashing around in a puddle of mercury on my bedroom floor...


[edit: I misread that PCB FAQ I mentioned above. It says: "Few studies of workers indicate that PCBs were associated with certain kinds of cancer in humans, such as cancer of the liver and biliary tract. Rats that ate food containing high levels of PCBs for two years developed liver cancer. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has concluded that PCBs may reasonably be anticipated to be carcinogens. The EPA and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have determined that PCBs are probably carcinogenic to humans." http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts17.html]
 
DAy to day living involves either breathing something hasty in or having contact with a dirty handrail covered with slime and from someone with a nasty infection. Why worry about the paranoia of worrying. The law of diminishing returns prevails...it will drive one bonkers and get nowhere.
I'd get on and use those Parmeco transformers, they probably have black potted tarmac as many Gardners have.....should be darned good bomb proof quality.
Where I live, radioactivity is a cloud issue, hemmned in with atom bemoths from Basel to Geneva.
Still today's folk haven't got one iota of a clue to the poison and contamination around in society during the 1950's. Oil with PCB's was only used in real substation and welding power transformers.

I've gotton used to the word . No-one is qualified about rubbish.

richj