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Chlordane is a persistent organochloride pesticide that was used from 1948 until its cancellation in 1988 due to concerns about effects on the environment and human health.

It is a persistent environmental contaminant that clings to soil for up to thirty years. It is a possible Carcinogens and developmental toxicant and has numerous negative effects on the environment and other organisms.

Just the facts

Physical Information

Name: Chlordane

Use: insecticide

Source: synthetic chemistry

Recommended daily intake: none

Absorption: ingestion, inhalation, dermal

Sensitive individuals: all

Toxicity/symptoms: highly toxic and possible Carcinogens

Regulatory facts: canceled

Environmental: persistent environmental contaminant

Chemical Structure

Structure retrieved from


Chemical Description

Chlordane is a mixture of at least 23 different components, including chlordane isomers, other chlorinated hydrocarbons, and by-products. It is a viscous, colorless, or amber-colored liquid with a chlorine-like odor (#EXTOXNET).


Chlordane was used in the US from 1948-1978 as a pesticide on agricultural crops, lawns, and gardens, and as a fumigating agent. In 1978, Environmental Protection Agency canceled the use of chlordane on food crops and phased out other above-ground uses. From 1983 to 1988, chlordane's only approved use was to control termites in homes (#EPA PBT).

Environmental Effects

After chlordane enters the environment, it adheres strongly to soil particles and does not readily enter groundwater. It remains in the soil for up to thirty years and is a persistent environmental contaminant that builds up in tissues of organisms that consume it.

It is also highly toxic to aquatic organisms and bees.


Use of chlordane was canceled in 1988 and the only permitted use today is to control fire ants in power transformers (#EPA PBT Program).

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