October 24, 2003
The Ministry of the Environment has released the state of PCB waste in storage that has been reported under the Law Concerning Special Measures for Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Waste (often referred to as "PCB Special Measures Law"). The data on the storage and disposal status of PCB waste as of March 31, 2002, was submitted from businesses to prefectural governments and municipal governments with public health offices.
The results differ slightly from those compiled as of July 15, 2001, and made public on October 23, 2002, because of newly identified PCB wastes and adjustments in the amount of PCB waste previously categorized incorrectly. An accurate accounting of current PCB waste items is necessary so that PCB wastes can be properly and systematically managed. The Ministry, therefore, requested local governments to make further effort to ensure that businesses understood this reporting system under the PCB Special Measures Law, to obtain accurate information of storage sites, and to instruct businesses to continue to store PCB waste properly so that improper disposal of PCB waste does not occur.
Compared with the previous report compiled as of July 15, 2001, the amount of stored PCBs has increased while the use of PCB-laden equipment has declined, with some variations according to the type of equipment. These results can be attributed to more thorough surveys that included data that had not been previously counted. These results mark the shift from using items containing PCBs to storing those items. The status of PCB wastes that experienced large increases or decreases are described below.
1. High-voltage transformers and high-voltage capacitors
The number of high-voltage transformers in storage decreased by 1,419 from the previous survey because many were not categorized as high-voltage transformers in the present survey. The number of high-voltage transformers in use increased by 950. The number of high-voltage capacitors in storage increased by 21,994 from the previous survey. Because the number of high-voltage capacitors in use also increased by 1,151, the results can be attributed to the increased thoroughness of the surveys.
2. Low-voltage transformers and low-voltage capacitors
The number of low-voltage transformers in storage increased by 7,709 from the previous survey, while the number of storage sites that have such equipment decreased by 60. This result is because of errors in categorizing equipment. The number of low-voltage capacitors in storage also increased by 221,341 from the previous survey. This increase can also be attributed to the increased thoroughness of the surveys.
The number of ballasts in storage increased by about 650,000 from the previous survey. Because the number of ballasts in use decreased by about 200,000, the results are attributed to a possible shift from use to storage of ballasts as well as to more thorough surveys.
4. PCBs and oil containing PCBs
The amount of PCBs in storage decreased by about 13,000 tons from the previous survey, and the amount of oil containing PCBs in storage increased by about 21,000 tons. This result is attributed to the fact that some oil containing PCBs was previously mistakenly classified as PCBs.
5. Other appliances
The number of units of appliances laden with PCBs in storage increased by about 34,000 from the previous survey, and those in use decreased by about 33,000. This result is primarily due to the shift from using to storing such appliances.
State of PCB Waste in Storage and PCB-containing Equipment in Use
Type of waste or
|Note||:||Data that cannot be represented as a weight or number of units, such as PCBs stored in drums, is listed in the sites section only. PCBs, PCB-containing oil, carbonless copying paper, waste cloth, and sludge were represented either in volume or weight, and the data in volume was converted to values in weight, by calculating one liter as one kilogram.|