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Chemical Identifying Information for Chlordane

CAS NUMBER: 57-74-9

SYNONYMS: 1,2,4,5,6,7,8,8-octachloro-2,3,3a,4,7,7a-hexahydro-4,7-methano-indene; Octachlorodihydrodicyclopentadiene

NIOSH Registry Number: PB9800000




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EPA's Air Toxics Information

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Off-white powder (pure); amber solid (impure)

SPECIFIC GRAVITY: 1.57-1.63 @ 15.5/15.5 C [043]

DENSITY: 1.59-1.63 g/mL @ 25 C [033],[172],[395],[430]

MELTING POINT: 106-107 C (cis); 104-105 C (trans) [051],[172],[173],[395]

BOILING POINT: 175 C @ 2 mm Hg (decomposes) [102]

SOLUBILITY: Water: <1 mg/mL @ 23 C [700] DMSO: >=100 mg/mL @ 23 C [700]
95% Ethanol: 50-100 mg/mL @ 23 C [700]
Acetone: >=100 mg/mL @ 23 C [700]
OTHER SOLVENTS: Aliphatic hydrocarbon solvents: Miscible [033],[169],[430]
Aromatic hydrocarbon solvents: Miscible [033],[169],[430]
Deodorized kerosene: Miscible [033],[062],[169],[430]
Petroleum solvents: Soluble [151]
Petroleum hydrocarbons: Soluble [395]
Cyclohexanone: Miscible [172]
Propan-2-ol: Miscible [172]
Trichloroethylene: Miscible [172]
Most organic solvents: Soluble [062],[173],[395],[421]

OTHER PHYSICAL DATA: Chlorine-like odor [102],[371]
Viscosity: 69 poises @ 25 C [033]
Refractive index: 1.56-1.57 @ 25 C [062],[172],[395],[430]
Liquid surface tension (estimated): 0.025 N/m @ 20 C [051],[371]
Heat of combustion (estimated): -2200 cal/g [051],[371]


VOLATILITY: Not available

FIRE HAZARD: Chlordane is noncombustible [102],[421]. However, the technical grade material has a flash point of 56 C (133 F) [051]. Fires involving this material can be controlled with a dry chemical, carbon dioxide or Halon extinguisher.

The autoignition temperature of technical grade material is 210 C (410 F) [051],[371].
LEL: 0.7% [051],[371] UEL: 5% [051],[371]

REACTIVITY: Chlordane is incompatible with strong oxidizers [051],[102],[346]. It decomposes in weak alkalis [033],[062],[421],[430]. It is also decomposed by sodium in isopropyl alcohol [186]. It is corrosive to iron, zinc and various protective coatings [169] and it attacks some forms of plastics and rubber [102].

STABILITY: Chlordane is stable under normal laboratory conditions. Solutions of it in water, DMSO, 95% ethanol or acetone should be stable for 24 hours under normal lab conditions [700].

USES: Chlordane is used as a non-systemic contact and stomach insecticide with some fumigant action. It is also used as an acaricide, a pesticide and a wood preservative. Chlordane is used in termite control and as a protective treatment for underground cables.

COMMENTS: The EPA has cancelled registrations of pesticides containing Chlordane with the exception of its use through subsurface ground insertion for termite control and the dipping of roots or tops of non-food plants [033].

ACUTE/CHRONIC HAZARDS: Chlordane may be toxic by ingestion, inhalation or skin absorption [033],[062]. It is an irritant and may be absorbed through the skin [051],[102],[346],[371]. Effects at higher dosage levels may be cumulative [421]. When heated to decomposition it emits toxic fumes of carbon monoxide, hydrogen chloride gas, chlorine and phosgene [043],[051],[102],[371].

SYMPTOMS: Symptoms of exposure may include skin irritation, irritability, convulsions, deep depression and degenerative changes in the liver [033]. Tremors, excitement, ataxia, gastritis, central nervous system stimulation, respiratory failure, fatty degeneration and death may also occur [043]. Other symptoms may include nervousness, loss of coordination, blood dyscrasias and acute leukemia [395]. Exposure to this compound may lead to diplopia, blurring of vision, twitching of the extremities, nausea and vomiting [099]. Additional symptoms may include headache, dizziness and mild clonic jerking [406]. Symptoms may also include severe cough, dyserythropoiesis, eosinophilia, megaloblastosis, aplastic anemia, neuroblastoma, hyperexcitability of the central nervous system, hyperactive reflexes, muscle twitching, coma, anorexia, weight loss and severe gastroenteritis [151]. Exposure to this compound may also cause confusion, oliguria, proteinuria, hematuria, mild hypertension, albuminuria, paresthesia, unconsciousness, weakness, enteritis, diffuse pneumonia, lower nephron syndrome and lateral nystagmus [173]. Delirium, abdominal pain, diarrhea and anuria may also occur [102],[346]. Other symptoms may include scattered petechial hemorrhages in the lungs, kidneys and brain, damage to tubular cells of the kidneys, degenerative changes in hepatic cells and renal tubules, hyperexcitability, central nervous system depression, cognitive and emotional deterioration, impairment of memory and impairment of visual motor coordination [301]. Symptoms may also include giddiness, fatigue, pulmonary edema, liver, kidney and myocardial toxicity, hypothermia, accelerated respiration followed by depressed respiration, loss of appetite, muscular weakness and apprehensive mental state [295]. Symptoms may also include light headedness, tightness of the chest, arthralgias, sore throat, eye irritation, neurological symptoms and dry and red skin [051]. Shaking, staggering and mania may also occur [102]. Symptoms may also include gastrointestinal tract irritation [371].

Numbers in brackets [ ] are reference numbers in the source of this information.

Source: Instant EPA's Air Toxics, Copyright 1994 by Instant Reference Sources, Inc. and Digital Liaisons, Austin, Texas

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National Toxicology Program Data

The data below is scanned from Instant Tox-Base. This database contains data on over 1800 chemicals in a highly condensed tabular format. Abbreviations and Definitions used throughout can be viewed here but they are all hyperlinked to the text within Instant Tox-Base for convenience.

Scan of Data from Instant Tox-Base for Chlordane

Numbers in brackets [ ] are reference numbers in the source of this information.

Source: Instant Tox-Base, Copyright 1994 by Instant Reference Sources, Inc. and Digital Liaisons, Austin, Texas

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EPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)

EPA's IRIS is the world's most comprehensive toxicology database. Chemical entries often range from 20 to 50 pages of information. The information below represents a small selection of the data involving carcinogenicity in Section II of IRIS. Many of the technical terms are hyperlinked with explanations in Instant EPA's IRIS from which the following exerpts were taken but space limitations preclude that convenience here.



Classification -- B2; probable human carcinogen Basis -- Sufficient evidence in studies in which benign and malignant liver tumors were induced in four strains of mice of both sexes and in F344 male rats; structurally related to other liver carcinogens


Inadequate. There were 11 case reports involving central nervous system effects, blood dyscrasias and neuroblastomas in children with pre-/postnatal exposure to chlordane and heptachlor (Infante et al., 1978). As no other information was available, no conclusions can be drawn.

There were three epidemiologic studies of workers exposed to chlordane and/or heptachlor. One study of pesticide applicators was considered inadequate in sample size and duration of follow-up. This study showed marginal statistically significant increased mortality from bladder cancer (3 observed) (Wang and McMahon, 1979a). The other two studies were of pesticide manufacturing workers. Neither of them showed any statistically significantly increased cancer mortality (Wang and McMahon, 1979b; Ditraglia et al., 1981). Both these populations also had confounding exposures from other chemicals.


Sufficient. Chlordane has been studied in four mouse and four rat longterm carcinogenesis bioassays. Dose-related incidences of liver carcinoma constitute the major finding in mice. Becker and Sell (1979) tested chlordane (90:10 mixture of chlordane to heptachlor) in C57B1/6N mice, a strain historically known not to develop spontaneous liver tumors. An unspecified number of mice were fed chlordane at 0, 25 and 50 ppm (0, 3.57, 7.14 mg/kg bw) for 18 months. None of the controls developed tumors or nodular lesions of the liver. Twenty-seven percent (16 mice) of the surviving treated mice developed primary hepatocellular carcinomas. Velsicol (1973) fed groups of 100 male and 100 female CD-1 mice diets with 0, 5, 25 or 50 ppm analytical grade chlordane for 18 months. A significant (p<0.01) dose-related increase in nodular hyperplasias in the liver of male and female mice was reported at the the two highest dose levels. A histological review by Reuber (U.S. EPA, 1985) reported a high incidence (p<0.01) of hepatic carcinomas instead of hyperplastic nodules at 25 and 50 ppm. {NOTE: This discussion is continued but there is not enough room here for it.}


Liver carcinomas were induced in mice of both sexes in two studies. An adequate number of animals was observed, and dose-response effects were reported in all studies. The geometric mean of slope factors (0.25 to 4.74 per (mg/kg)/day for the most sensitive species is consistent with that derived from rat data (1.11/mg/kg/day).


Appropriate data for calculating a One-day HA are not available. It is recommended that the Ten-day HA of 0.06 mg/L be used as the One-day HA.


Ten-day HA -- 6E-2 mg/L

LOAEL -- 6.25 mg/kg/day

UF -- 1000 (allows for interspecies and intrahuman variability with the use of a LOAEL from an animal study)

Assumptions -- 1 L/day water consumption for a 10-kg child

Principal Study -- Ambrose et al., 1953
The toxic effects in rats resulting from daily gastric intubation of chlordane at doses of 6.25, 12.5, 25.0, 50.0, 100.0, or 200 mg/kg for 15 days were histologic changes in the liver of the treated animals at all dose levels and central nervous system effects at higher dose levels. Only minimal histopathologic changes characterized by the presence of abnormal intracytoplasmic bodies of various diameters were evident at the lowest dose level (6.25 mg/kg). That dose level was identified as the LOAEL in this study.


Appropriate data for calculating a Longer-term HA are not available. It is recommended that the modified DWEL (adjusted for a 10-kg child) of 0.5 ug/L be used as the Longer-term HA.


Appropriate data for calculating a Longer-term HA are not available. It is recommended that the DWEL of 2 ug/L be used as the Longer-term HA for the 70-kg adult.


DWEL -- 2E-3 mg/L

Assumptions -- 2 L/day water consumption for a 70-kg adult

RfD Verification Date = 03/22/89 (see Section I.A. of this file)

Lifetime HA -- None

Chlordane is considered to be a probable human carcinogen. Refer to Section II of this file for information on the carcinogenicity of this substance.

Principal Study (DWEL) -- Velsicol Chemical Corporation, 1983 (This study was used in the derivation of the chronic oral RfD; see Section I.A.2.)

Source: Instant EPA's IRIS, Copyright 1996 by Instant Reference Sources, Inc. and Digital Liaisons, Austin, Texas

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Chemical Protective Clothing (CPC) Data

The table below was scanned from Instant Gloves + CPC Database. It contains information on the breakthrough times and permeation rates for Chlordane tested against many manufacturer's models of CPC. If you are not familiar with the chemical permeation test procedures and the interpretation of breakthrough time and permeation rate data then you will find the Permeation Index Number to be useful in helping you make selections.

The Permeation Index Number Appears in the fourth column from the left in the table of data below. It's interpretation with the data in the table is:

Index Number .... Level of Permeation Rate

0 .... None or Very Low - - this is the Best Selection.
1 .... Very Low - - this is the Next Best Selection.
2 .... Low - - Sometimes Satisfactory but change garment when exposed.
3 .... Moderate Poor Choice - - Change the garment quickly when exposed.
4 .... High - - Very Poor Choice; Splashes Only, Change Quickly When Exposed.
5 .... Very High - - Dangerous Choice

Additional Information on Permeation Index Numbers

Scan of CPC Data for Chlordane

Numbers in the last column are reference numbers in the source of this information.

Source: Instant Gloves + CPC Database, Copyright 1996 by Instant Reference Sources, Inc. and Digital Liaisons, Austin, Texas

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How to Analyze for Chlordane in the Environment

There are several methods for analyzing Chlordane in the environment. Two of what I consider to be the best ones are summarized below.

EPA METHOD 8080 - Chlorinated Pesticides & PCBs By GC/ECD Or GC/ELCD Organochlorine Pesticides and PCBs

MATRIX: This method is used to determine the concentration of various organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in extracts prepared from water, ground water, soils, and sediments.

METHOD SUMMARY: This method covers 26 pesticides and Aroclor (PCB) mixtures and it is suitable for monitoring-type analyses. After extraction, concentration and solvent exchange to hexane, a 2 to 5 uL sample aliquot is injected into a GC using the solvent flush technique, and the analytes are detected by an electron capture detector (ECD) or an electrolytic conductivity detector in the halogen mode (HECD). Both neat and diluted organic liquids may be analyzed by direct injection.

INTERFERENCES: Interferences coextracted from the samples will vary considerably from source to source. Interferences by phthalate esters can pose a major problem in pesticide determinations when using the ECD. Cross contamination of clean glassware routinely occurs when plastics are handled during extraction steps, especially when solvent-wetted surfaces are handled. The contamination from phthalate esters can be completely eliminated with a microcoulometric or electrolytic conductivity detector. Solvents, reagent, glassware, and other sample processing hardware may yield artifacts and/or interferences to sample analysis.

INSTRUMENTATION: A gas chromatograph capable of on-column injections is needed. It must be equipped with an ECD or a HECD and one of the following GC columns:

..... Column 1: Supelcoport (100/120 mesh) coated with 1.5% SP-2250/1.95% SP-2401 packed in a 1.8 m x 4 mm ID glass column.

..... Column #2: Supelcoport (100/120 mesh) coated with 3% OV-1 in a 1.8 m x 4 mm ID glass column.

PRECISION AND ACCURACY: The method was tested by 20 laboratories using organic-free reagent water, drinking water, surface water, and three industrial wastewaters spiked at six concentrations. Concentrations used in the study ranged from 0.5 to 30 ug/L for single-component pesticides and from 8.5 to 400 ug/L for multi-component parameters. Overall precision and method accuracy were found to be directly related to the concentration of the analyte and essentially independent of the sample matrix. The sensitivity of this method usually depends on the concentration of interferences rather than on instrumental limitations.

MDL in ug/L was 0.014.

Concentration Range in ug/L was 8.5-400.

Accuracy as Recovery (x*) in ug/L was 0.82C-0.04.

Overall precision (S*) in ug/L was 0.18x +0.18.

x* = Expected recovery for one or more measurements of a sample containing concentration C, in ug/L.

S* = Expected interlaboratory standard deviation of measurements at an average concentration found of the analyte in ug/L.

C = True value for the concentration, in ug/L.

x = Average recovery found for measurements of samples containing a concentration of C, in ug/L.


Liquid Samples: Use a 1 gallon or a 2 1/2 gallon amber glass bottle with a screw-top Teflon-lined cover. Pre-wash the bottle with detergent, rinse with distilled water and methanol (or isopropanol).

Soil, sediments and sludges: Use an 8 oz. widemouth glass with a screw-top Teflon-lined cover. Pre-wash the bottle with detergent, rinse with distilled water and methanol (or isopropanol).


Cool water, soil, sediment or sludge samples immediately to 4 deg. C.

Water samples: If residual chlorine is present, add 3 mL of 10% sodium thiosulfate per gallon and cool to 4 deg. C. All extracts and samples should be stored under refrigeration.

M.H.T.: Liquid samples must be extracted within 7 days and the extracts must be analyzed within 40 days. Soils, sediments and sludges may be stored for a maximum of 14 days prior to extraction.


Liquid Samples: Extract 1L samples in a continuous extractor at pH 5-9 with methylene chloride after adding 1.0 mL of surrogate spiking solution to each sample. Pass the extract through a column of anhydrous sodium sulfate to dry and concentrate it in a K-D apparatus to 1 mL volume.

Soils, Sediments and Sludges: Rapidly weigh approximately 30 g of sample into a 400 mL beaker to avoid loss of the more volatile extractables. Nonporous or wet samples (gummy or clay type) that do not have a free flowing sandy texture must be mixed with anhydrous sodium sulfate until the sample is free flowing. Add 1 mL of surrogate standards to all samples, spikes, standards, and blanks. Add 100 mL of 1:1 methylene chloride:acetone and extract ultrasonically. Decant and filter extracts, dry the extract by passing it through a drying column containing anhydrous sodium sulfate and concentrate to 1 mL in a K-D apparatus.

Hexane Solvent Exchange: Add 50 mL of hexane, a new boiling chip, and concentrate until the apparent volume of liquid reaches 1 mL. Adjust the extract volume to 10.0 mL. Stopper the concentration tube and store refrigerated at 4 deg. C if further processing will not be performed immediately. If the extract will be stored longer than two days, transfer it to a vial with Teflon-lined screw-cap or crimp top.

QUALITY CONTROL: Demonstrate through the analysis of a reagent water blank, that all glassware and reagents are interference free. Each time a set of samples are processed, a method blank should be processed as a safeguard against chronic laboratory contamination. A reagent blank, a matrix spike and a duplicate or matrix spike duplicate must be performed for each analytical batch (up to a maximum of 20 samples) analyzed. Analytical system performance must be verified by analyzing QC check samples. The QC check sample concentration should contain Chlordane at 50 ug/mL in acetone.

REFERENCE: Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste (SW-846). U.S. EPA. 1983. Method 8080B, Revision 2, November 1990. Office of Solid Wastes, Washington, D.C.

EPA METHOD 8270 - Semivolatile Organic Compounds By HRGC/MS for Semivolatile Organics


EPA Method 8270 is used to determine the concentration of semivolatile organic compounds in extracts prepared from all types of solid waste matrices, soils, and ground water. It is also applicable to an extract from sorbent media in conjunction with Method 0010. Direct injection of a sample may be used in limited applications.

Method 8270 can be used to quantify most neutral, acidic, and basic organic compounds that are soluble in methylene chloride and capable of being eluted without derivatization as sharp peaks from a gas chromatographic fused-silica capillary column coated with a slightly polar silicone. Such compounds include polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons and pesticides, phthalate esters, organophosphate esters, nitrosamines, haloethers, aldehydes, ethers, ketones, anilines, pyridines, quinolines, aromatic nitro compounds, and phenols, including nitrophenols.


Method 8270 describes conditions for gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to allow for the separation of the semivolatile compounds on the method target list. Sample extraction, purification, and concentration techniques are addressed in other methods. EPA Methods 3510, 3520, 3540, 3550, 3580 may be applicable to the sample preparation.


Raw GC/MS data from all blanks, samples, and spikes must be evaluated for interferences. If an interference results from the preparation and/or cleanup of samples, corrective action can be taken to eliminate the problem. If the problem is a very high sample background of alkyl or aromatic hydrocarbons, very little can be done to resolve the problem other than dilution of the samples, which raises the detection limit. If chromatographic coelution occurs, deconvolution of the coeluting components by mass spectrometric techniques will be effective if the compounds are not chemically related and their mass spectra can be resolved. If isomers coelute and their mass spectra are similar, the coelution cannot be resolved.

Contamination by carryover can occur whenever high level and low level samples are analyzed sequentially. To reduce carryover, the sample syringe must be rinsed carefully with solvent between sample injections. The chromatographic column should be allowed to remain at a high temperature until all late-eluting components have eluted from the column in order to avoid chromatographic carryover problems. Whenever an unusually concentrated sample is encountered, it should be followed by the analysis of clean solvent to check for cross-contamination. If contamination is observed, the injections of solvent should be repeated until the contamination is no longer observed before another sample injection is performed.

REFERENCE: Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Third Edition. Report No. SW-846. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. Washington, DC: 1986.

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EPA's Pesticide Facts on Chlordane

1. Description of Chemical

Generic Name:


Common Name: Chlordane

Trade Names:

Velsicol 1068;
Velsicol 168;
Gold Crest C-100;
Gold Crest C-50;
Topiclor 20;

EPA Shaughnessy Code: 058201

Year of Initial Registration: 1948

Pesticide Type: Insecticide

Chemical Family: Chlorinated cyclodiene

U.S. and Foreign Producers: Velsicol Chemical Corporation

2. Use Patterns and Formulations

- Application Sites: Subsurface soil treatment for termite control; underground cables for termite control; above ground structural application for control of termites and other wood-destroying insects.

- Types of Formulations: Emulsifiable concentrates; granular; soluble concentrates.

- Types and Methods of Application: trenching, rodding, subslab injection, low pressure spray for subsurface termite control; brush, spray, or dip for applying to structural wood.

- Application Rates: 0.5 to 2.0% emulsion for termite control; 3.0 to 4.25% solution for above ground structural wood treatment.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: See the fact sheet for heptaclor regarding EPA cancellation proceedings for both chlordane and heptaclor.]

3. Science Findings

Summary Science Statement

- Chlordane is a chlorinated cyclodiene with moderate acute toxicity. the chemical has demonstrated adverse chronic effects in mice (causing liver tumors). Chlordane may pose a significant health risk of chronic liver effects to occupants of structures treated with chlordane for termite control. This risk may be determined to be of regulatory concern, pending further evaluation. Chlordane is highly toxic to aquatic organisms and birds. Chlordane is persistent and bioaccumulates. Chlordane may have a potential for contaminating surface water; thus, a special study is required to delineate this potential. Applicator exposure studies are required to determine whether exposure to applicators may be posing health risks. special product-specific subacute inhalation testing is required to evaluate the short-term respiratory hazards to humans in structures treated with chlordane. An inhalation study of one-year duration using rats is required to assess potential hazards to humans in treated residences from this route of exposure. The Agency has been apprised of reported cases of optic neuritis associated with termiticide treatment of homes. To determine whether this is a significant health effect, the registrant must have eye tissue from the latest two-year rat oncogenicity study analyzed by neuropathologists specializing in optic tissue pathology. Data available to the Agency show an occurrence of misuse and misapplication of chlordane. The Agency is requiring restricted use classification of all end-use products containing chlordane. Application must be made either in the actual physical presence of a Certified Applicator, or if the Certified Applicator is not physically present at the site, each uncertified applicator must have completed a State approved training course in termiticide application meeting minimal EPA training requirements and be registered in the State in which the uncertified applicator is working.

6. Contact Person at EPA

George LaRocca
Product Manager No. 15
Insecticide- Rodenticide Branch
Registration Division (TS-767C)
Office of Pesticide Programs
Environmental Protection Agency
401 M Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460

Office location and telephone number:

Room 204, Crystal Mall #2
1921 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202

Phone: (703) 557-2386

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