Previously published estimates of the global production, consumption and atmospheric emissions of 22 individual PCB congeners [Breivik K, Sweetman A, Pacyna JM, Jones KC. Towards a global historical emission inventory for selected PCB congeners – a mass balance approach. 1. Global production and consumption. Sci Total Environ 2002a; 290: 181-198.; Breivik K, Sweetman A, Pacyna JM, Jones KC. Towards a global historical emission inventory for selected PCB congeners – a mass balance approach. 2. Emissions. Sci Total Environ 2002b; 290: 181-198.] have provided useful information for later studies attempting to interpret contaminant levels in remote areas as well as in the global environment. As a result of the need for more contemporary emission data (following the year 2000), an update of this emission database is presented. This exercise takes into account new information on PCB production in Poland, as well as new data on the chemical composition of various technical mixtures for which less information had been available. The methodology to estimate temporal trends of PCB emissions associated with various types of PCB usage is improved. Projected emissions up to year 2100 are presented to facilitate predictions of future environmental exposure. The national emission data for each of the 114 countries considered is spatially resolved on a 1° × 1° grid for each congener and year, using population density as a surrogate.