Canadian Council of Ministers
of the Environment

Le Conseil canadien des ministres
de l'environnement

There are currently issues with the Summary Table’s download to excel function. We are working on resolving the issue. Our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.
Bookmark this page Download Excel spreadsheet Download PDF

Polychlorinated biphenyls

Synonyms and/or acronyms: PCBs
Parameter 1: ORGANIC
Parameter 2: Polyaromatic compounds
Parameter 3: Polychlorinated biphenyls

Water Quality for the Protection of Aquatic Life

Freshwater

Concentration (µg/L)

0.001

No fact sheet created. For more information on this guideline, please refer to Canadian Water Quality Guidelines (CCREM 1987).

This guideline (originally published in Canadian Water Quality Guidelines [CCREM 1987 + Appendixes] in 1987 or 1991 [PCBs in marine waters]) is no longer recommended and the value is withdrawn. A water quality guideline is not recommended. Environmental exposure is predominantly via sediment, soil, and/or tissue, therefore, the reader is referred to the respective guidelines for these media.

This substance meets the criteria for track 1 substances under the national CCME Policy for the Management of Toxic Substances (PMTS) (i.e., persistent, bioaccumulative, primarily the result of human activity, and CEPA-toxic or equivalent), and should be subject to virtual elimination strategies. Guidelines can serve as action levels or interim management objectives towards vitual elimination.

Date

1987

Marine

Concentration (µg/L)

0.01

No fact sheet created. For more information on this guideline, please refer to Canadian Water Quality Guidelines (CCREM 1987).

This guideline (originally published in Canadian Water Quality Guidelines [CCREM 1987 + Appendixes] in 1987 or 1991 [PCBs in marine waters]) is no longer recommended and the value is withdrawn. A water quality guideline is not recommended. Environmental exposure is predominantly via sediment, soil, and/or tissue, therefore, the reader is referred to the respective guidelines for these media.

This substance meets the criteria for track 1 substances under the national CCME Policy for the Management of Toxic Substances (PMTS) (i.e., persistent, bioaccumulative, primarily the result of human activity, and CEPA-toxic or equivalent), and should be subject to virtual elimination strategies. Guidelines can serve as action levels or interim management objectives towards vitual elimination.

Date

1991

Water Quality for the Protection of Agriculture

Irrigation

Concentration (µg/L)

No data

Date

No data

Livestock

Concentration (µg/L)

No data

Date

No data

Sediment Quality for the Protection of Aquatic Life

Further documentation on these guidelines can be found in the Canadian Environment Quality Guidelines.
Download Factsheet

Freshwater

Concentration (µg/kg dry weight) - ISQG

34.1
Guideline % ≤ ISQG ISQG < % < PEL ISQG % ≥ PEL
Total PCBs 4 40 50

Concentration (µg/kg dry weight) - PEL

277
Guideline % ≤ ISQG ISQG < % < PEL ISQG % ≥ PEL
Total PCBs 4 40 50

Date

2001

Marine

Concentration (µg/kg dry weight) - ISQG

21.5
Guideline % ≤ ISQG ISQG < % < PEL ISQG % ≥ PEL
Aroclor 1254 1 24 76
Total PCBs 16 37 55

Concentration (µg/kg dry weight) - PEL

189
Guideline % ≤ ISQG ISQG < % < PEL ISQG % ≥ PEL
Aroclor 1254 1 24 76
Total PCBs 16 37 55

Date

2001

Soil Quality for the Protection of Environmental and Human Health

Further documentation on these guidelines can be found in the Canadian Environment Quality Guidelines.
Download Factsheet

Concentration (mg/kg dry weight) - Agricultural

0.5

Data are sufficient and adequate to calculate only a Soil Quality Guideline for Environmental Health (SQGE), which is less than the existing interim soil quality criterion (CCME, 1991) for this land use. Therefore the SQGE becomes the soil quality guideline, which supersedes the interim soil quality criterion for this land use.

For guidelines derived prior to 2004, differentiation between soil texture (coarse/fine) is not applicable.

Concentration (mg/kg dry weight) - Residential / parkland

1.3

Data are sufficient and adequate to calculate only a Soil Quality Guideline for Environmental Health (SQGE), which is less than the existing interim soil quality criterion (CCME, 1991) for this land use. Therefore the SQGE becomes the soil quality guideline, which supersedes the interim soil quality criterion for this land use.


For guidelines derived prior to 2004, differentiation between soil texture (coarse/fine) is not applicable.

Concentration (mg/kg dry weight) - Commercial

33

Data are sufficient and adequate to calculate only a Soil Quality Guideline for Environmental Health (SQGE), which is less than the existing interim soil quality criterion (CCME, 1991) for this land use. Therefore the SQGE becomes the soil quality guideline, which supersedes the interim soil quality criterion for this land use.


In site-specific situations where the size and/or location of commercial and industrial land uses may impact primary, secondary or tertiary consumers, the soil and food ingestion guideline is recommended as the Soil Quality Guideline for Environmental health (SQGE)


For guidelines derived prior to 2004, differentiation between soil texture (coarse/fine) is not applicable.

Concentration (mg/kg dry weight) - Industrial

33

Data are sufficient and adequate to calculate only a Soil Quality Guideline for Environmental Health (SQGE), which is less than the existing interim soil quality criterion (CCME, 1991) for this land use. Therefore the SQGE becomes the soil quality guideline, which supersedes the interim soil quality criterion for this land use.


In site-specific situations where the size and/or location of commercial and industrial land uses may impact primary, secondary or tertiary consumers, the soil and food ingestion guideline is recommended as the Soil Quality Guideline for Environmental health (SQGE)


For guidelines derived prior to 2004, differentiation between soil texture (coarse/fine) is not applicable.

Date

1999

Tissue Residue Quality for the Protection of Widlife Consumer of Aquatic Biota

Further documentation on these guidelines can be found in the Canadian Environment Quality Guidelines.
Download Factsheet

Concentration (µg/kg diet wet weight)

Variable

Mammalian: 0.79 ng TEQ/kg diet wet weight
Note: TEQ refers to dioxin toxic equivalents using toxic equivalency factors (TEFs) for PCBs for mammals developed by the World Health Organization in 1998. See fact sheet for supporting document for more details
Avian: 2.4 ng TEQ/kg diet wet weight
Note: TEQ refers to dioxin toxic equivalents using toxic equivalency factors (TEFs) for PCBs for birds developed by the World Health Organization in 1998. See fact sheet for supporting document for more details

Date

1998