PCB Ballasts = Hazardous Waste - Hazardous Materials - Contractor Talk

PCB Ballasts = Hazardous Waste

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Old 08-13-2007, 10:14 PM   #1
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PCB Ballasts = Hazardous Waste

Thanks Nathan for this new section. So I'll be the first to post on HW.

PCB fluorescent ballasts were used before 1978 and then banned. The pcb's won't hurt anyone because they are sealed in the ballast but,, they don't belong in the landfill and the metal recylers don't need them in their shredders.

So.. you do a little office demo that includes 40 or 50 fluorescent fixtrues and you toss them in the dumpster and away they go and nobody ever says chit. Maybe they were pcb's and maybe they were not or maybe they were half and half. But hey this is 2007 so why not do it right. It only costs about 1 to 2 bucks a ballast to comply with the law.

So here is how you tell if you have pcb ballasts.
1) Non pcb's say "No pcb's" on the label. That was easy but
sometimes the lablel is missing or it has tar etc all over it and can't be read.

2) Almost all ballast and for sure the older ballasts have the date stamped on the back so 78 and later is non pcb and 77 and earlier is sure to be pcb.

3) Quickest way to know is if you see cloth wire or that heavy rubber wire, then it is most likely pcb. The modern looking plastic wire is most likely non pcb. There was a year or two that they mixed them a little.

Anyway your local bulb supplier can probably handle your small quantities of pcb's for about 2 bucks each. If you have a million a HW handler can do it for less than a buck.

Also your pre 78 Hid lights, (Mercury Vapor, High Pressure sodium, Metal halides), probably have a capacitor with pcb's. You can just pull the capacitor and send just that part off as HW. Again a non pcb cap will say "no pcb's"... If you got this far, thanks for reading my post.
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Old 08-14-2007, 03:03 AM   #2
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Re: PCB Ballasts = Hazardous Waste

Old oil filled transformers were filled up with oil to cool the transformer coil down and insulate the windings and connections to the primary and secondary conductors. Pcb's were a major component of that oil, and also a major component of the goop on the arms of those of us old enough to have serviced them on occaision. I agree that the stuff doesn't belong in landfills, but like asbestos, and lead, and mold, and global warming, and Karl Rove, and Jimmy Carter, roag asteroids, alien abductors, pot holes, weak and unsafe bridges, Myspace, tooth decay, human scabs (non union), removing the tag off of the mattress, and giving out your personal information to Nigerian vacume cleaner salesmen, the dangers and hype is overblown.


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Old 08-15-2007, 09:21 AM   #3
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Re: PCB Ballasts = Hazardous Waste

I don't think I'd give my personal info to a Nigerian.

I generally think it is mostly hype but then I have some chest x-rays that show some of it was not... 200 years down the road I might find a few more things that were not hype.
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