Polychlorinated biphenyl compounds (PCBs) have been proven to cause serious issues like breast cancer and delayed cognitive development in children. According to the EPA, PCBs are different man-made chemicals that were manufactured from 1929 until they were banned in 1979. PCBs were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications including in a sealant used in kitchen cabinetry.

PCBs are considered a carcinogen and even though they were banned in 1979, the compounds are slow to decay and tend to stick around the environment, so they're still present in kitchens with old cabinets. The alarming part of this new study, published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, is that samples from 16 recently built homes in Iowa showed high concentrations of the compounds.

The University of Iowa study suggests wood finishing products are the source of PCBs and shows that despite bans, the chemicals are still being released into the environment, including our homes.

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