Hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCH) are a group of manufactured chemicals
that do not occur naturally in the environment. HCH has eight chemical forms (called isomers). The four most common are alpha-, beta-, gamma, and delta-HCH. The most common of these is gamma-HCH (also known as lindane). Lindane is a white solid substance that may evaporate into the air as a colorless vapor with a slightly musty odor. It is the common form of hexachlorocyclohexane.
Lindane was used as an insecticide on fruit and vegetable crops (including greenhouse vegetables and tobacco
) and forest crops (including Christmas trees). It is still used in ointments to treat head and body lice, and scabies.
Lindane has not been produced in the United States since 1977. It is still imported to and formulated in the United States.
Exposure to hexachlorocyclohexanes happens mostly from eating contaminated foods
or by breathing
contaminated air in the workplace
. Exposure to high levels of hexachlorocyclohexanes can cause blood disorders
, and changes in the levels of sex hormones
. These substances have been found in at least 144 of the 1,467 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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Source: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
- Toxic & Hazardous Substances
- Balance Problems: Overview
- Blood Disorders: Overview
- Immune Disorders
- Kidney & Urinary Tract Disorders
- Liver Problems
- Reproductive System: Overview
- Seizures: Overview
- Hexachlorocyclohexanes: Frequently Asked Questions