U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
PCBs in Fluorescent Light Ballasts1
PCB Information and Reference
Fact Sheet
July 2020
530-F-20-005
PCBs in Fluorescent Light Ballasts (FLBs)
This fact sheet presents information on how to investigate for,
remove, store, or dispose of PCB FLBs. Additional information
regarding PCB FLBs in school buildings can be found at
https://go.usa.gov/xf9Jx.
Where are the PCBs in FLBs?
Prior to the passage of TSCA, virtually all small electrical
capacitors contained approximately 50 percent PCBs. FLBs
commonly contain pure PCB liquid in small (less than two
ounces) sealed capacitor(s) inside the ballasts. PCBs have also
been found in FLB "potting material" which is a tar-like
filling/packing material inside the metal ballast casing.
Light ballasts in the fluorescent light fixtures and are generally
located within the fixture under a metal cover plate.
EPA required manufacturers of FLBs built between July 1,
1978 and July 1, 1998, to mark the ballasts that do not contain
PCBs with the statement "No PCBs".
Polychlorinated
Biphenyls (PCBs)
PCBs were domestically
manufactured from 1929 until
fabrication was banned in 1979
by the Toxic Substances Control
Act (TSCA), with some products
and processes excluded from the
ban by regulation. PCBs were
used extensively as coolants in
hydraulic systems and as
dielectric fluids in electrical
equipment as well as many other
applications. Ftowever, PCBs
may still be present in products
and materials produced before
1979 (including oil used in
motors and hydraulic systems)
or in excluded manufacturing
processes, as defined in 40 CFR
761.3, and can still be released
into the environment, where
they do not readily break down.
PCBs have been identified as
probable human carcinogens and
cause a variety of non-cancer
health effects as well.2
1	This fact sheet is intended to provide information to residents, commercial facilities, and institutions on the proper handling,
storage, and disposal of FLBs containing PCBs. The recommendations in this document do not impose legally binding
requirements and will not be Implemented as binding in practice. They do not impose any obligations on private parties nor
are they intended to direct the activities of any other federal, state or local agency or to limit the exercise of their legal
authority.
2	https://www.epa.gOv/pcbs/learn-about-polvchioririated-biphenvls-pcbs#healtheffects

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U. S. Environmental Protection Agency	July 2020
PCBs in Fluorescent Light Ballasts
How to Identify an FLB with PCBs
FLBs that contain PCBs are regulated under TSCA. Below is a summary of how to identify if an
FLB contains or may contain PCBs.
	Any FLBs manufactured before July 2, 1979, may contain PCBs.
	Any FLBs marked with the statement "This equipment contains PCB Capacitor(s)," in
accordance with 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)  761.40(d), contain PCBs.3
	In accordance with 40 CFR  761.2(a)(4):
o Any person must assume that a capacitor manufactured prior to July 2, 1979 whose
PCB concentration is not established, or whose date of manufacture is unknown,
contains greater than or equal to (>) 500 parts per million (ppm) PCBs.
o Any person may assume that a capacitor marked at the time of manufacture with the
statement "No PCBs" in accordance with 40 CFR  761.40(g) does not contain PCBs.
40 CFR  761.40(g) required non-PCB ballasts manufactured from July 1, 1978 to July
1, 1998, to be labeled with the statement "No PCBs."
	If an FLB was manufactured prior to July 2, 1979, the potting material may be sampled and
analyzed for PCBs or assumed to contain PCBs. The potting material in PCB FLBs
manufactured prior to July 2, 1979, frequently contains concentrations of PCBs over 50 ppm.
EPA generally does not recommend opening the FLBs just to sample the potting material due
to the risk of PCB exposure. The disposal requirements are different for PCBs in the potting
material than for the PCB small capacitors, as noted below.
Use of PCBs in FLBs
The use of PCBs in capacitors, including those contained in FLBs, is authorized by 40 CFR
761.30(1). There are certain restrictions on the use of PCB large high voltage capacitors and PCB
large low voltage capacitors, but 40 CFR 761.30(1) allows for unrestricted use of the small
capacitors found in FLBs while they are intact. However, if the small PCB capacitors in FLBs are
leaking, the release of PCBs constitutes unauthorized disposal; the PCB capacitors are now a PCB
waste and the continued use of those leaking PCB capacitors is no longer authorized under 40
CFR  761.30(1) and must be disposed of in accordance with the PCB regulations.
Proper Management and Disposal of PCB FLBs
PCB FLB generators, recyclers, and disposers should consult the TSCA Storage Disposal
Requirements for Fluorescent Light Ballasts Chart at the end of this fact sheet (also located on
EPA's PCB website at https://go.usa.gov/xf9Jq) and the PCB regulations for requirements for
the proper disposal and management of PCB FLBs. Much of the information below is
presented in the TSCA Storage Disposal Requirements for Fluorescent Light Ballasts Chart.
Regulations. The PCB regulations to follow regarding proper disposal of PCB FLBs and
decontamination and sampling related to leaks or spills of PCB FLBs include:
	Disposal requirements for PCB small capacitors in FLBs - See 40 CFR  761.50(b)(2),
 761.60(b)(2)(ii), and  761.62(a) or (c).
3 The PCB regulations can be found at 40 CFR Part 761, online at https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-
idx?tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40cfr761 main 02.tpl
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U. S. Environmental Protection Agency	July 2020
PCBs in Fluorescent Light Ballasts
	Disposal requirements for PCBs in potting material of FLBs - See 40 CFR  761.50(b)(2)(ii),
 761.60(b)(6)(iii), and  761.62.
	Decontamination requirements for PCB contaminated non-porous surfaces - See 40 CFR
 761.79(b)(3).
	Sampling non-porous surfaces for measurement-based use, reuse, and decontamination under
40 CFR  761.79(b)(3) - See 40 CFR Part 761 Subpart P.
	Option for an approval from EPA to use alternative decontamination and/or sampling
procedures (other than those specified in 40 CFR  761.79 and 40 CFR Part 761 Subpart P) -
See 40 CFR  761.79(h).
Storage. Storage of PCB FLBs is regulated in accordance with 40 CFR  761.65. Once PCB FLBs
are taken out of service for disposal (i.e., they are no longer in use), they must be sent to an
approved disposal facility within nine months and disposed of within one year. See 40 CFR
 761.65(a)(1) and the table at the end of this Fact Sheet for a summary of storage requirements.
There are special considerations for commercial storers of PCB waste. Commercial storers of PCB
waste who store more than 500 gallons of PCB waste (such as PCB capacitors and/or potting
material) generated by others or who store waste removed while servicing the equipment owned
by others and brokered for disposal are required to obtain a PCB commercial storage approval
from EPA (see the definition of Commercial storer of PCB waste in 40 CFR  761.3). See 40 CFR 
761.65(b).
Notification of PCB Waste Activity. Any company or person storing, transporting or disposing
of PCBs must notify EPA and receive an identification number using Form 7710-53. EPA will
issue a unique EPA identification number to the notifier if the notifier does not have one. See 40
CFR  761.205 and https://www.epa.gov/pcbs/notifications-polvchlorinated-biphenvl-pcb-
activities.
Generators who do not own or operate PCB commercial storage facilities subject to the storage
requirements of 40 CFR  761.65 (b) or (c)(7) do not need to submit the notification form.
Generators exempted from the notification requirements shall use the generic identification number
"40 CFR Part 761" on manifests, records, and reports, unless such generators elect to use a unique
EPA identification number previously assigned to them under the Resource Conservation and
Recovery Act (RCRA) by EPA or a State. See 40 CFR  761.205(c).
Labeling and Manifesting. No labeling or manifesting is required for PCB FLBs that have both
intact non-leaking PCB capacitors and potting material with PCBs at concentrations of less than
50 ppm PCBs. Conversely, labeling and manifesting is required if the PCB FLBs have non-intact
leaking small capacitors and/or potting material with PCBs at concentrations of greater than or
equal to 50 ppm PCBs (refer to the chart at the end of this fact sheet for a summary). See 40 CFR
 761.40 and 761.45 for marking requirements and 40 CFR Part 761 Subpart K for manifesting
requirements. It is further recommended that the state be contacted to determine any applicable
state manifesting requirements.
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U. S. Environmental Protection Agency	July 2020
PCBs in Fluorescent Light Ballasts
Disposal as PCB Household Waste
PCB FLBs containing intact non-leaking small capacitors and/or potting material with PCBs at
concentrations of greater than or equal to 50 ppm may be disposed as PCB household waste in
accordance with 40 CFR  761.63 if the FLBs meet the definition of a PCB household waste in 40
CFR  761.3. Residents may dispose of such PCB FLBs at a municipal solid waste landfill by
disposing of the FLB in the trash if the ballasts are disposed during routine maintenance at a
house or a residential building. However, the household waste exemption does not apply to PCB
FLBs with non-intact leaking small capacitors with PCBs at concentrations of greater than or
equal to 50 ppm. See 40 CFR  761.3, which states that commingled liquid PCB wastes at
concentrations greater than or equal to 50 ppm are not household wastes. It is recommended to
consult with the local disposal facility regarding disposal of these items to determine if the local
household hazardous waste program may allow disposal of household PCB FLBs with leaking
small capacitors. See 40 CFR  761.3, 761.60(b)(2)(ii), 761.60(b)(6)(iii), and 761.63.
For More Information
For more information on PCB FLBs, consult EPA's website at https://go.usa.gov/xf9Jx. or
contact your EPA Regional PCB Coordinator (see below).
Contact your State and EPA Regional PCB Coordinator
If you have concerns about PCB contamination or need more information, consult your
EPA Regional PCB Coordinator at http://www.epa.gov/pcbs/program-contacts and your
state environmental agency. EPA recommends that you make decisions about appropriate
action after thoughtful consideration of all available information and all legal
requirements.	
EPA Region 1 (CL, MA, ME, NH, RI, VL) Lei: 617-918-1527
EPA Region 2 (NJ, NY, PR, U.S. Virgin Islands) Lei: 212-637-3759
EPA Region 3 (DE, DC, MD, PA, VA, WV) Lei: 215-814-2177
EPA Region 4 (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, LN) Lei: 404-562-8512
EPA Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI) Lei: 312-886-7890
EPA Region 6 (AK, LA, NM, OK, LX) Lei: 214-665-6796
EPA Region 7 (IA, KS, MO, NE) Lei: 913-551-7504
EPA Region 8 (CO, ML, ND, SD, UL, WY) Lei: 303-312-6446
EPA Region 9 (AZ, CA, HI, NY, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands) Lei:
415-972-3360
EPA Region 10 (AK, ID, OR, WA) Lei: 206-553-1616

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TSCA Storage Disposal Requirements for Fluorescent Light Ballasts
Location of the PCBs
Storage Requirements
(if not at a PCB
Commercial Storage
Facility)
Labeling,
Transportation,
& Manifesting for
Disposal
Disposal Reference
in 40 CFR 761
Disposal Options
Capacitor
Potting Material
"No PCBs" label
Not regulated for storage or disposal under TSCA
< 50 ppm
< 50 ppm
Not regulated for storage or disposal under TSCA
> 50 ppm, non-
leaking
> 50 ppm
761.65(c)(9) for up to
180 days
or 761.65(b) for longer
Is regulated as a PCB
bulk product waste1
- Manifesting and
labeling4 are required for
disposal in accordance
with 761.62(a); is not
required under 761.62(b);
may be required under
761.62(c)
761,50(b)(2)(ii)
and 761.62(a), (b), or (c)
-	TSCA incinerator
-	TSCA/RCRA landfill
-	TSCA-approved
Alternative destruction
method
-	Decontamination
-	Coordinated approval
-	State-approved landfill
(leach test required)
-	Risk-based approval
< 50 ppm
> 50 ppm
> 50 ppm, non-
leaking
< 50 ppm
not regulated for
storage under TSCA3
Is regulated as PCB
Equipment
- No labeling or
manifesting required4
761,50(b)(2)(i)
and 761,60(b)(2)(ii)
As municipal solid waste
40 CFR 761 subpart D
options
> 50 ppm, leaking
any
761.65(c)(1) for up to
30 days
or 761.65(b) for longer
Is regulated as PCB
Equipment, but is
Regulated as a PCB
Bulk Product Waste for
Disposal2
- Manifesting and labeling
are required for disposal
in accordance with
761.62(a); may be
required under 761.62(c)4
761.50(b)(2)
and 761.62(a) or (c)
-	TSCA incinerator
-	TSCA or RCRA
Hazardous waste landfill
-	TSCA-approved
alternative destruction
method
-	Decontamination
-	Coordinated approval
-	Risk-based approval
1	Based on the definition of PCB Bulk Product Waste (761.3)
2	Based on 761.50(b)(2)
3	Based on 761.60(b)(7)
4	Although labeling may not be required, records or optional labeling must show that the waste is less than 1 year old.
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