UI Research Shows Some Kitchen Cabinets Can Emit Potentially Harmful Compounds

A University of Iowa study published today in Environmental Science & Technology reveals that both Aroclor and non-Aroclor sources of airborne polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were found in residential homes. Probably the last place anyone would want to find PCBs is in the kitchen, yet that's exactly where the UI scientists detected their presence, according to the new report. They say that the PCBs, which are widely considered carcinogenic, are unwanted byproducts of sealant breakdown in modern kitchen cabinetry.

The research was conducted by Nicholas Herkert and Jacob C. Jahnke, graduate students in civil and environmental engineering and graduate research assistants at IIHR--Hydroscience & Engineering, and Keri C. Hornbuckle, Donald E. Bently Professor of Engineering, professor of civil and environmental engineering, and researcher at IIHR.

The ES&T article is posted at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.8b00966

The important research already has received media attention. Stories have been published in:

Great Britain's Daily Mirror -- https://www.mirror.co.uk/science/modern-kitchen-cupboards-emit-chemical-12384317

Phys.org -- https://phys.org/news/2018-04-kitchen-cabinets-emit-potentially-compounds.html

BuzzFeed -- https://www.buzzfeed.com/theresatamkins/kitchen-cabinets-pcbs?utm_term=.ioX9awZEL3#.oee1x6obgq

Medindia.net -- https://www.medindia.net/news/kitchen-cabinets-can-emit-cancer-causing-chemicals-178836-1.htm

From left, Nicholas Herkert, Jacob Jahnke, and Keri Hornbuckle.