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Bacteria to clear up PCBs [Coffee-byte]

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Labelling PCB-containing transformers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Polychlorinated biphenyl or PCBs are man-made compounds that were first made in 1881 and were extensively used as cooling agents in electrical equipment such as transformers and capacitors and also as additives in paints, pesticide extenders, flame retardants etc.  Monsanto was a major producer of this chemical in the early phases. 
Although PCBs had extensive applications. just like other man made plastics, they do not breakdown naturally. As early as 1922,  preliminary studies revealed that exposure to PCBs was detrimental to human and animal health. While initial reports suggested that the dangers extended to skin conditions alone, further reports linked PCBs to liver damage and poisoning. In the year 1968, about 400000 birds died after the feed that was supplied to them had been contaminated with PCBs. Detailed studies later also linked the exposure of PCBs to cancer. 
Multiple such incidents around the globe, finally l…