polychlorinated biphenyl

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Any of a number of derivatives of biphenyl (C6H5C6H5) in which some of the hydrogen atoms on the benzene rings have been replaced by chlorine atoms. Polychlorinated biphenyls are used in the manufacture of certain polymers as electrical insulators. They are highly toxic and are suspected to be carcinogenic; their increasing use has caused concern because they have been shown to accumulate in the food chain.

Subjects: Chemistry.

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