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Endrin is an organochlorine insecticide and rodenticide most commonly used on cotton, maize, and sugarcane. Endrin, a white, odorless substance, is lethal if ingested in large quantities, and has been outlawed in the United States since 1986 (#EPA Factsheet).

Pharmacology and Metabolism

Endrin and its metabolic products pass through the body in a few days, although studies suggest that some small amounts of endrin remain in the body's fatty tissues if exposure to the substance is high (#ATSDR).

Health Effects

Swallowing large amounts of endrin can cause convulsions and lead to death within a few minutes or hours. Less serious exposure to endrin can result in headaches, dizziness, confusion, nervousness, nausea, or vomiting (#ToxFAQs).

Long term effects have not been noted in laborers who have been exposed to endrin through inhalation or dermal contact (#ToxFAQs).

The EPA does not classify endrin as a carcinogen, citing that not enough information is available to deem the substance cancer-causing (#ToxFAQs).

For a summary of different agencies' evaluations of potential chronic health effects, please see the Pesticide Action Network's profile of endrin


Endrin has been found at low levels in surface and groundwater, although exposure to endrin through drinking water is very low. Endrin does not break down easily within water, and can accumulate in the tissues of aquatic organisms (#ToxFAQs).

Endrin can be transmitted to nursing babies through contaminated breast milk (#ToxFAQs).


Environmental Protection Agency regulations state that the maximum level of endrin contamination in drinking water is 0.0002 milligrams per liter (#ToxFAQs).

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration allows 0.1 milligram per cubic meter of air for an 8-hour day, 40-hour work week (#ToxFAQs).

Endrin has not been produced or available in the United States since 1986 (#ToxFAQs).

External Links


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Agency for Toxic Substances & Diseases. ToxFAQs - Endrin. Accessed 06-11-07.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Agency for Toxic Substances & Diseases. "Public Health Statement for Endrin." ATSDR. Accessed 06-11-07.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Consumer Factsheet on: Endrin." Updated 11-28-06. EPA Factsheet. Accessed 06-11-07.

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