Chlorobenzenes other than hexachlorobenzenes
Environmental Health Criteria No 128
World Health Organization
ISBN-13    9789241571289 ISBN-10    9241571284
Order Number    11600128   
Price    CHF    45.00 / US$    54.00 Developing countries:    CHF    45.00
English     1991        254   pages
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Evaluates the risks to human health and the environment posed by exposure to monochlorobenzene, dichlorobenzenes, trichlorobenzenes, tetrachlorobenzenes, and pentachlorobenzene. These chemicals are produced in huge quantities for use as intermediates in the synthesis of pesticides and in the production of a wide range of consumer and commercial products.
A review of data on sources of environmental exposure notes that release to the environment occurs primarily during manufacture and that incineration of chlorobenzenes may lead to the emission of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans. Sections concerned with sources and levels of human exposure conclude that the general population is exposed to the lower chlorinated congeners mainly through inhalation, whereas a greater proportion of the total daily intake of the higher chlorinated compounds is ingested in food; breast-fed babies may receive a higher dose than adults. Particular concern centres on risks of human exposure arising from the ingestion of contaminated fish and from contaminated indoor air linked to use of these compounds as moth repellents and air fresheners. The report was unable to predict the environmental impact of low-level contamination, but noted the need to avoid discharge of chlorobenzenes into the aquatic environment, as this can result in the buildup of persistent residues.
Concerning risks to human health, findings from case reports in occupationally exposed populations point to transient effects on the central nervous system, and irritation of the eyes and upper respiratory tract as the principal health effects of exposure.
"... a useful, sensible and well-referenced assessment..."
- Annals of Occupational Hygiene