Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polychlorinated terphenyls (PCTs) are organic substances and are not acutely toxic. However, there is concern over their long-term environmental effects due to their persistence in the environment, and their tendency to bioaccumulate, ie to build up in the bodies of animals.

European Directive 96/59/EC specified the end of 2010 as the final deadline for all PCB-contaminated equipment to be taken out of service by all Member States, although there are exceptions to the ban, with PCB-containing equipment requiring registration, labelling and ultimate disposal, as this topic describes.

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