*IARC: International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Chlordane is an insecticide used in fire ant control, on lawns, and on a variety of crops. The term chlordane actually refers to a complex mixture of chlordane isomers, other chlorinated hydrocarbons and by-products. In most temperate climates, only the two chlordane isomers: alpha and gamma chlordane, generally persist. (Environmental Health Criteria 34. WHO, 1984). Chlordane is very persistent in the environment, surviving in soils for more than 20 years. When U.S. production of chlordane was suspended in 1976, it was in response to data from human monitoring studies showing that 90 percent of all Americans had residues of chlordane metabolites in their tissue, and that these metabolites may be transferred from mother to the foetus across the placenta and from mother to child via mother's milk. The chief route of transfer into the human body was found to be via the diet, through meat and dairy food. In 1997, the world's last producer of chlordane, the U.S.-based Velsicol Chemical Corporation, announced that it would permanently cease production.
Chlordane is moderately toxic according to the scale of Hodge & Sterner (1956). WHO (1984) classified the technical product as moderately hazardous. Most of its metabolites are slightly to moderately toxic, with the exception of oxychlordane (the most common animal metabolite), which is highly toxic (acute oral LD50 for rat: 19.1 mg/kg). (Environmental Health Criteria 34. WHO, 1984).
Women from the Arctic were found to consume greater than the WHO acceptable daily intake level of chlordane in 50 percent of the cases. Inuit mother's milk contains 10 times higher levels of chlordane than seen in southern Canadian residents. Likewise, in Australia, levels of chlordane intake for infants via breast milk exceeded the WHO ADI (0.0005 mg/kg bw, 1994) standard in 48 percent of the cases surveyed. (WFPHA, World Federation of Public Health Associations, 2000).
Chlordane was correlated with bronchitis, sinusitis, and migraines when houses were treated for termites. A study of 261 people exposed to varying levels in indoor air revealed a dose-related increase in respiratory illnesses. In a study of workers in occupations associated with chlordane manufacture, people experienced cerebrovascular disease at rates twice that expected. 261 adults living in an apartment complex sprayed for termites showed abnormal balance, choice reaction time and slowing motor speed. (WFPHA, 2000).
Chlordane is toxic for some fish as fathead minnow (96-h LC50s 52 micrograms/litre) or rainbow trout (96-h LC50s 7.8 micrograms/litre). Nutrition has been shown to affect chlordane toxicity in rainbow trout, with 96-h LC50s ranging from 8.2 to 47 micrograms/litre, depending on the composition of the diet given to the fish. Toxicity (LC50) values for birds as mg/kg diet ranged from 170 to 858 in studies where chlordane was given for between 5 days and 100 weeks, (Environmental Health Criteria 34. WHO, 1984). Chlordane can be transported in the atmosphere for long distances and is now present in the Arctic food web. Chlordane has been measured in fresh water and marine biota including flathead minnow, algae, snail, and the sheephead minnow. (WFPHA, 2000).
The table below shows some bioconcentration factors for chlordane (EHC 34, WHO, 1984).
Hazardous Substances Data Bank: type Chlordane
with toxicity data from the Vermont Safety Information Resources,
This site provides a list or toxicity tests results, references for toxicity literature reviews, USA standards and regulations, occupational exposure limits in different states all over the world, and reference to NIHOSH, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, analytical standard methods.
International Chemical Safety Cards European Union version
Chemical Safety Cards U.S. National version
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) access
Text Search the GPA Clearing-House
|UNEP/GPA Coordination Office: firstname.lastname@example.org||Other GPA Search Options|
|© 2000 - UNEP/GPA Coordination Office|