This application is to request funding to help support the Eighth International PCB Workshop, entitled "PCBs in Schools" to be held in Woods Hole, Mass., October 5-9, 2014. The target participants are government, academic and industry scientists working on polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), with expertise on their detection, occurrence, exposure and risk assessment, regulation and policy development, especially those scientists with relevant experience with PCBs in schools. The investigators also anticipate a highly interested lay audience given the timely nature of this topic, with special appeal for citizens groups involved in PCBs in Schools issues. The venue is especially appropriate for this topic, in that it lies within driving distance from major northeastern U.S. cities directly impacted by recent revelations of PCBs found in building materials and the air of older school buildings. For those attending the Workshop, there is reliable bus service from the two closest airports, enabling efficient transport to the venue. A major goal of the Workshop is the sharing of information on the topics, discussions that will greatly benefit those present. But to transfer the findings and conclusions to a broader audience, a special issue on the topic will be prepared and published in a major Environmental Health Journal.
One can hardly image a topic with more public health relevance than the issue of man-made contaminants, in this case, PCBs, present in school air and the resulting exposure of school workers, teachers and school children, the latter at a vulnerable age, to these environmental hazardous chemicals. PCBs were recently upgraded by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to Group 1 human carcinogens, the highest designation by that agency.