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Hexachlorophene is a chemical used in numerous products, including Pesticides and as an anti-septic agent. It is acutely toxic and animal studies have shown it to have negative chronic health effects as well. In France in 1972, 36 children died after being exposed to talc contaminated with hexachlorophene (#Canorel).


Just the facts

Physical Information

Name: Hexachlorophene

Use: pesticide and anti-septic agent

Source: synthetic chemistry

Recommended daily intake:

Absorption: dermal, ingestion, inhalation

Sensitive individuals: workers

Toxicity/symptoms: toxic

Chemical Structure


Chemical Description

Hexachlorobenzene is a colorless white crystalline powder that decomposes when heated and produces toxic flames (#INCHEM).


Hexachlorobenzene is used in numerous pesticide products. See the full list at Scorecard. It is also used in germicidal soaps as an anti-septic (#MSDS).

Trade Names:

* Acigena
* Almederm
* AT7
* AT17
* Bilevon
* Exofene

* Fostril
* Gamophen
* G-11
* Germa-Medica
* Hexosan
* Septisol
* Surofene


Health Effects

Chronic Toxicity
Repeated exposure to hexachlorophene may have deleterious effects to health. Chronic dermal exposure may lead to dermatitis. The substance may also have negative effects on the nervous system, and animal tests have shown that it may cause developmental defects (#INCHEM).

One animal study was conducted where beagle dogs were fed hexachlorophene 30, 60, and 120 ppm (0.75, 1.5, or 3.0 mg/kg/day) in the diet for 13 weeks. Principle effects noted, from the EPA Site, "were swollen salivary glands, dry mouth, and status spongiosis in the brain, optic nerve, spinal cord and sciatic nerve at all dose levels tested" (#EPA). It should be noted, that a similar study in rats that neurotoxic effects were observed at 5 The chemical has been banned based on these neurotoxic effects (#EPA).

Acute Toxicity
Acute exposure to hexachlorobenzene will cause negative effects on the nervous system and could lead to convulsions, seizures, and respiratory failure (#INCHEM).

Environmental Effects

Hexachlorobenzene is bioaccumulative and has negative effects throughout aquatic ecosystems (#INCHEM).


It is listed on four regulatory lists (#Scorecard):

  • Hazardous Constituents (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act)
  • Hazardous Substances (Superfund)
  • Registered Pesticides (Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act)
  • Toxic Release Inventory Chemicals

h12. External Links



Canorel, Francke. "Morhange Poweder".

MSDS. "Safety Data for Hexachlorobenzene". Accessed on 9-4-07.

Environmental Protection Agency. "Hexachlorobenzene". Accessed 9-4-07.

International Programme on Chemical Safety (INCHEM). "Hexachlorobenzene". October, 1994. Accessed 9-4-07.

Scorecard. "Chemical Profile - Hexachlorobenzene". Accessed on 9-4-07.

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