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By Dr. José Carlos Corbatta
Environmental disasters and the understanding of the ecological phenomenon in all its aspects predispose us to be attentive to events where human life is always at stake. It is evident that we are in default with the environment in general and that in addition the crisis diagnosed since the beginning of humanity, today goes hand in hand with survival. Yesterday, today and always man is in danger.
This enhanced danger becomes risk, that is, when the danger increases. Just as the fuel conditioned in tanks below a service station is considered dangerous, therefore the smoking ban, it is also possible to affirm that the gasoline, transported in an open or deficit container increases its danger. Here is the risk.
In other words, the population is exposed to constant risks and the Nation must minimize them, despite the reconversion of the electricity sector, and the emphasis on the need to concentrate "the responsibility of the State in the design and application of superior policies and in the regulation and the necessary control ... "in order to" make the development of the sector compatible with the use of substitute and complementary energy resources, and establish norms for environmental protection and the rational use of said resources within the laws and decrees in force, the regulations resulting from the Regulatory Framework to be established and the directives issued by the competent bodies of the National Government. "
It is evident that the subject must be approached with knowledge and without the sensationalisms to which one of the interpretations of the "environmental phenomenon" has often accustomed us.
The reality is that there is a risk for the population and for workers from a dangerous substance such as PCBs. PCBs. they are a group of more than 209 chemical compounds synthesized by man, among which there are substances of very different toxicity.
The reports of the treatment plants and their final disposal in the United Kingdom and Belgium, or the purely business reports, such as those provided by the Depuroil Plant in Bilbao, provide us with a reality of which we must be alert. Alerts and expectant for the incidents of substances in man and nature. In many cases the shortest way is through the hygiene and safety of the worker.
The detection and correct final disposal of transformers whose content has the presence of PCBs is more worrying than it seems. The dissemination and application of the rules for the use, handling and safe disposal of polychlorinated diphenyls and their wastes -Resolution 369 (M.T.yS.S.) - to a great extent protects health as a protected legal asset and by it preserves life. The aforementioned tasks and their steps must be carried out as safely as possible, in order to control emerging risks. The importance of wafers, labels, forms or other means of identification of DANGER - Only authorized personnel - Polychlorinated Diphenyls. In accordance with Annex II of Resolution 369 (M.T.yS.S.) and complementary provisions, it is the most effective tool in the face of ignorance or human error. Obviously we must know our common enemy to defeat him with the only tool or weapon capable of defeating him: education.
Then a teacher would say: Chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons constitute a wide range of organic chemical compounds, obtained from the addition of Cl atoms (between 42 and 51%) to diphenyl molecules of synthetic origin. Among them "polychlorinated diphenyls" (DTC) and "polychlorinated triphenyls" (TPC); They are also known by their English name "polichlorynated biphenyls" (PCBs) and "polichlrynated triphenyl" (PCTs), and are used in the following applications (listed in order of their highest frequency): Capacitors, resin components and gums synthetics, carbon paper, in transformers, rectifiers, hydraulic fluid, cutting oil, heat transfer liquid, pigment for paints, sealants, adhesives, printing inks, waxes. When it is used in electrical equipment it is known under the generic name of Askarel (first registered trademark), however rarely do the equipment's nameplates indicate Askarel or DPC, being common to indicate the manufacturer's trademark (more than thirty at the beginning of the 90's). In many countries they were discontinued in the late 1970s when signs of being harmful to the environment and possibly health were found.
The characteristics and physico-chemical properties of diphenyls in the scope are: A viscous, transparent, slightly yellowish liquid, with a characteristic odor comparable to chlorinated compounds (DDT, Gamexane and others).
at 15.5 ° C between
|1.38 to 1.57 Kg / lt.|
steam at 40 ° C
|less than 1.5 mm Hg.|
Saybolt Universal at 40 ° C
|38 to 95 seconds.|
from water to saturation
|150 ppm at 40 ° C.|
|-45 to –10 C.|
|around 200 ° C.|
|does not have.|
|around 340 ° C.|
|30 to 60%|
|70 KV / cm at 15 ° C and 30 ppm water.|
|200 KV / cm|
|5 × 10 at 12 ohm.cm.|
Other properties are: Great stability, non-corrosiveness, at high temperatures it releases decomposition products, such as: Hydrochloric acid, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, it can also release, under certain conditions, small amounts of polychlorodibenzodioxins (PCDD) and polychlorodibenzofurans) .
When absorbed through the respiratory, dermal or ingestion routes, it can cause irritative and respiratory disorders, skin lesions (chloracne) and general toxic manifestations (hair, nails, digestive, neurological, etc.). As we infer, their waste is dangerous, according to our national legislation, Law 24.051 and Regulatory Decree 831/93. That is why our concern, more than the memory of Agent Orange.
Quality of life is possible as long as there is education. The wonders of chemistry are (often and eventually "knowledge") atmospheric villains. This atmosphere envelops all life and our survival depends on it.
Dr. José Carlos Corbatta