Egypt has started packing PCB-contaminated equipment in Cairo and Alexandria to ship them to Spain for elimination. At the end of this process, it is expected that Egypt would have disposed of 200 tons of PCBs. This is the last activity within the framework of the MedPartnership project, led by UNEP/MAP and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It was implemented by the MAP MED POL programme in collaboration with the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA).
With the PCB semi-mobile analyzers received under the same project, Egypt undertook a reliable inventory of PCBs. Moreover experts had a theoretical and practical training in all aspects of identification, storage, transport and disposal of PCBs. It also had a module on transboundary movement of hazardous waste in accordance with the requirements of the Basel Convention.
PCBs are highly toxic pollutants, one of the most harmful persistent organic chemicals to be manufactured by man, and very long-lasting (over 100 years). They cause immunotoxicity, skin problems, reproductive alterations and cancer in animals, particularly in marine species such as the common seal, whale and salmon. PCB-containing equipment such as old transformers, TVs, fluorescent lights, and fridges, are still in use and must be replaced with PCB-free alternatives.