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PCB is a chemical used in coolants and lubricants for transformers. Studies completed in 1975 showed elevated stomach and liver cancer rates resulting from PCB exposure. The Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976 banned the manufacture of PCB in the U.S. The 1976 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act guides the disposal of existing PCB, which can be very costly.

In 1976, a trucking company hired by Ward Transformer Company sprayed 31,000 gallons of PCB-contaminated oil along about 240 miles of North Carolina roads. The illegal dumping was discovered in 1978, but the contaminated soil remained along roadsides until September 1982. The population living near the contaminated soil reported an increase in miscarriages and birth defects. 40,000 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated soil were taken to a 142-acre landfill near Afton in Warren County in 1982.


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