Hexachlorocyclopentadiene / published under the joint sponsorship of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organisation, and the World Health Organization ; first draft prepared by D. T. Reisman
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ResumoEvaluates risks to human health and the environment posed by the production, use, and disposal of hexachlorocyclopentadiene (HEX). HEX is a chemical used in the production of several pesticides, including heptachlor, chlordane, aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, mirex, pentac, and endosulfan. The compound is also used as an intermediate in the manufacturing of flame retardants, resins, and dyes. In many countries, the use of HEX in the production of certain organochlorine pesticides has been restricted. A discussion of environmental behaviour draws upon studies conducted following chemical accidents at manufacturing sites and waste treatment plants in the USA. While rapid degradation occurs in most environmental compartments, studies show that HEX sorbs strongly to organic matter and humus and may persist in soil sediment and ground water following waste disposal. Concerning risks to the environment, the report notes that HEX is toxic to many aquatic microorganisms at nominal concentrations. Findings from toxicity studies showed high toxicity for HEX vapour following oral, dermal, and inhalation dosing in all species tested, with dosing via inhalation causing the most acute toxicity. Reported signs of toxicity following long-term repeated exposure include pulmonary degenerative changes, diffuse degeneration of the brain, heart, and adrenal glands, and necrosis of the liver and kidney tubules. A review of the limited data available on human health effects yields evidence of severe irritation to the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Major concern centres on the toxic effects on the human respiratory system. The report also notes observation of systemic toxic effects following short-term exposure through inhalation, suggesting that long-term inhalation of low concentrations of HEX could cause adverse health effects. A review of epidemiological studies uncovered no evidence of an increase, attributable to HEX or its metabolites, in the incidence of neoplasms at any site
World Health Organization & International Programme on Chemical Safety. (1991). Hexachlorocyclopentadiene / published under the joint sponsorship of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organisation, and the World Health Organization ; first draft prepared by D. T. Reisman. Geneva : World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/36928
Environmental health criteria ; 120
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