Dionex Corporation Home


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) belong to a family of organic compounds known as chlorinated hydrocarbons. They are purely synthetic compounds that do not occur in nature. Originally produced for use as flame retardants and as electrical insulators in transformers, capacitors, and other electrical equipment, PCBs were also used in heating coils, carbonless carbon paper, lubricating oils for industrial drills, caulking compounds, electrical motors in refrigerators, and many other applications. The high thermal and chemical resistance of PCBs means that they do not readily break down when exposed to heat or chemical treatment.

The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) has been implemented in an effort to combat the release of selected persistent organic pollutants (POPs). UNEP is interested in eliminating POPs from the environment because these compounds are considered toxic, carcinogenic, and mutagenic, and degrade slowly. Since they are persistent and not broken down by normal environmental mechanisms, they can bioaccumulate within the food chain, and ultimately into the food we eat.

Dionex provides Accelerated Solvent Extraction (ASE®) technology for the extraction of PCBs from a variety of matrices and meets the requirements described in U.S. EPA SW-846 Method 3545A.