Chlordane

From Academic Kids

Chlordane is a manufactured chemical that was used as a pesticide in the United States from 1948 to 1988. Technically chlordane is not a single chemical, but is actually a mixture of pure chlordane mixed with many related chemicals. It doesn't occur naturally in the environment. It is a thick liquid whose color ranges from colorless to amber. Chlordane has a mild, irritating smell.

Some of its trade names are Octachlor and Velsicol 1068. Until 1983, chlordane was used as a pesticide on crops like maize and citrus and on home lawns and gardens.

Because of concern about damage to the environment and harm to human health, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned all uses of chlordane in 1983 except to control termites. In 1988, EPA banned all uses.

Health effects

Chlordane affects the nervous system, the digestive system, and the liver in people and animals. Headaches, irritability, confusion, weakness, vision problems, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and jaundice have occurred in people who breathed air containing high concentrations of chlordane or accidentally swallowed small amounts of chlordane. Large amounts of chlordane taken by mouth can cause convulsions and death in people.

A man who had long-term skin contact with soil containing high levels of chlordane had convulsions. Japanese workers who used chlordane over a long period of time had minor changes in liver function.

Animals given high levels of chlordane by mouth for short periods died or had convulsions. Long-term exposure caused harmful effects in the liver of test animals.

We do not know whether chlordane affects the ability of people to have children or whether it causes birth defects. Animals exposed before birth or while nursing developed behavioral effects later.

External Link

http://www.ecoinfo.ec.gc.ca/env_ind/region/toxin_descript/toxin_description_e.cfm for chemical structure of chlordane


See also: Dutch standards.

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