PCBs can cause serious health problems. The potential for health effects from PCBs, as with other chemicals, depends on how much, how often, and how long someone is exposed to them.
Numerous studies in both humans and animals have shown that exposure to PCBs can affect the nervous, immune, reproductive and endocrine (hormone) systems. PCBs are also classified as human carcinogens. This means that exposure to PCBs can cause cancer in humans.
Additionally, the different health effects of PCBs may be interconnected. This means that if one system of the body is affected by PCBs, it may have significant effects on other systems of the body, which can lead to many serious health problems.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has studied the health effects of PCBs and concluded that PCBs are human carcinogens. This means that exposure to PCBs can cause cancer in humans.
Proper development of the nervous system is critical for early learning and can have significant effects on the health of people throughout their lives. Exposure to PCBs can lead to significant losses in neurological development, including visual recognition, short-term memory and learning.
The immune system is critical for fighting infections. Diseases of the immune system can have very serious effects on human health. Exposure to PCBs can suppress the immune system, which can lead to other health problems.
Exposure to PCBs can lead to decreased birth weight and can cause babies to be born too early.
Endocrine (Hormone) System
PCBs can affect thyroid hormone levels in humans. Thyroid hormone levels are critical for normal growth and development, and can have significant health effects if levels are altered.