Removing PCB From a Concrete Surface Using a Vacuum Cleaner

Polychlorinated biphenyls or PCB is a clear to yellow-colored viscous liquid and are toxic to both humans and the environment. The United States has been PCB since 1979, but there are many items such as lighting fixtures and bulbs, electronics and paint were manufactured with PCB prior to the ban. If the paint is sandblasted from a home, the PCB dust will need to be properly cleaned from all surfaces, which include concrete. Here are the steps on how to remove PCB from a concrete surface using a vacuum cleaner.

You will need:

  1. Liquid terpene
  2. Cloth or mop
  3. Bucket
  4. Industrial strength or shop vacuum

Vacuum Cleaner


  1. First, wear a breathing mask when working with PCB, as it could be dangerous to inhale the dust. Vacuum over the concrete with an industrial strength vacuum cleaner or you can use shop vacuum. Vacuum away all of the PCB dust until it is clean.
  2. Then, throw away the waste from the vacuum cleaner. PCB is a hazardous waste and it’s important to discard it according to the hazardous waste requirements for your state or country.
  3. Next, mix 1 cup of liquid terpene into a gallon of water. Take a rag or mop and dip it into the liquid. Clean or mop the concrete to remove all of the PCB traces. Once the cleaning is complete, throw the rag or mop.
  4. Put your clothing immediately into the laundry for cleaning after working with PCB. Avoid yourself from sitting in the same dusty home and transfer the dust around.

Image Credit:

Flickr CC

Additional Reading:

Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Masonry & Stonework: Includes Decorative Concrete Treatments (Black & Decker Complete Guide)

Black & Decker The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair: with 350 Projects and 2000 Photos (Black & Decker Complete Photo Guide)