Chlorinated dibenzofurans, or CDFs, are a family of chemicals that contain one to eight chlorine atoms attached to the carbon atoms of the parent chemical, dibenzofuran
. There are 135 different types of CDFs with varying harmful health and environmental effects. The compounds that contain chlorine atoms at the 2,3,7,8-positions of the dibenzofuran molecule are known to be especially harmful.
Not all of the different types have been found in large enough quantities to study the physical properties. However, of those that have been studied, they do not dissolve in water easily and appear to be in the form of colorless solids.
There is no known use for these chemicals. Other than for research purposes, they are not deliberately produced by industry. Most CDFs are produced in small amounts as undesirable by-products of certain processes, such as manufacturing other chemicals or bleaching at paper and pulp mills. CDFs can also be released from incinerators.
Exposure to chlorodibenzofurans (CDFs) occurs mainly by eating certain contaminated foods
. In people, exposure to CDFs is most likely to cause skin
irritation, and increased vulnerability to respiratory infection
and nervous system
effects. This chemical has been found in at least 51 of 1,416 National Priorities List sites
identified by the Environmental Protection Agency
See a doctor if you have been harmed by this substance. In addition, it
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- Chlorinated Dibenzofurans (CDFs): Frequently Asked Questions