Over 400 products now said to be contaminated with PCBs

PCBs

have been found in the electrical insulating oil of transformers and condensers produced by 13 manufacturers, the Environment Ministry said Friday.

The ministry will hold a series of hearings with the companies to determine the scale of the contamination, ministry officials said.

An additional 280 transformers, condensers and other products were found to be contaminated since the ministry first reported that some products were contaminated with PCBs in July. This brings the total number of products involved to 412.

The ministry will open an inquiry into whether the pollution could be the result of something other than what it believed previously — recycled oil containing trace amounts of the chemical or new oil used on contaminated production line equipment.

The Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association is to submit a report compiled from investigations carried out by manufacturers before the end of this fiscal year.