Aarhus University Seal

All of AU’s buildings have been tested for PCBs

Levels of PCBs in all of the approximately 30 AU buildings that have been tested over the course of the spring were found to be below the health hazard threshold values.

Aarhus University rents about 30 buildings that were built or renovated in the period during which PCBs were permitted in building materials. Over the course of the spring, these buildings were examined for traces of PCBs in indoor air, and the result is that the concentrations of PCBs detected were below the health hazard threshold values in all buildings.

The buildings that were tested are:


  • Fredrik Nielsens vej 4
  • Langelandsgade 139
  • Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6a
  • Barak 12
  • Observatoriet
  • Moesgaard Alle 18
  • Moesgaard Museum
  • Finlandsgade 4, 6-8 og 20
  • Katrinebjerg 89, C, E og F
  • Katrinebjergvej 89, 95 og 105
  • Kælder under bygning 5126
  • Grenåvej 14

Now that these tests are have been carried out, AU concludes the process of testing all relevant AU buildings for PCBs. The first tests were carried out in autumn 2014. At this time, all of the AU buildings owned by the Danish Building and Property Agency were tested for PCBs. The remaining buildings have been tested this spring.

All tests were carried out as spot checks in selected rooms in buildings that were either built or renovated in the period during which building materials containing PCBs were permitted, such as caulk, paint and certain types of flooring and lighting. Tests were not carried out in buildings that were built after the ban on PCBs was introduced.

Implementation of action plans

The tests carried out in the autumn showed moderately increased levels of PCBs in ten buildings at ST and Aarhus BSS, and in response concrete PCB removal action plans were developed and implemented.

The action plans have been adopted in order to ensure that the problem was dealt with in accordance with Danish Working Environment Authority regulations.

Status of the implementation of action plans at Aarhus BSS:

In the north-east corner of the University Park, Aarhus BSS Estates Facilities is in the process of replacing all light fixtures in which PCBs were detected. About 15 per cent of the affected light fixtures have been replaced to date. The remaining fixtures, including fixtures in classrooms, will be replaced over the course of the summer.

IN rooms with elevated PCB levels, flooring will also be replaced, as this is considered to be a safer solution than deep cleaning of the existing flooring. Expert cleaning of all rooms with elevated levels of PCBs will also be carried out. This will be handled in cooperation with ST, who has hired an external contractor to perform the cleaning.

In one room, 1343/193, the source of the elevated levels of PCBs has not yet been determined. The occupants of the room have been notified, and the room is not currently in use. Various measures will be tried out, and new tests will be performed.

At Fuglsangs Allé, the sources of PCB contamination have been removed from the two basement rooms in which elevated levels of PCBs were detected, and expert clean-up has been carried out. The rooms are being ventilated with an air purifier.

Status of the implementation of action plans at ST:

In building 1520, all primary sources of PCB contamination in the form of capacitors in light fixtures have been removed. Half of the building has already been renovated, and an extensive renovation of two floors is in progress, which is expected to be completed in the course of 2015. 

Building 1522 is in the process of total renovation. The problems with PCBs in this building will have been dealt with before the 2015 autumn semester begins.

In building 1540, external caulk is being removed, and masonry is being cleaned.  This work is expected to be completed in early summer 2015. All rooms and fittings in the building will subsequently be thoroughly cleaned.

Potential sources of PCBs are being removed 

In addition to the action plans that have been adopted and implemented, potential sources of PCBs in AU’s buildings are also being removed - even if there are no indications of PCB contamination. This is being done to eliminate the risk that PCB contamination will occur in the future, for example due to leaks occurring in light fittings that are currently intact.

Further information