Chlordane Hazards to Fish, Wildlife, and Invertebrates: A Synoptic Review

Contaminant Hazard Reviews Report 21 ; Biological Report 85(1.21).




Technical chlordane is an organochlorine compound first introduced into the United States in 1947 in a variety of formulations for use as a broad-spectrum pesticide. By 1974, about 9.5 million kilograms of chlordane were produced annually. Concern over the potential carcinogenicity of chlordane has led to sharply curtailed production. Since 1983, chlordane use in the United States has been prohibited, except for control of underground termites. Chlordane is readily absorbed by warmblooded animals through skin, diet, and inhalation, and distributed throughout the body. In general, residues of chlordane and its metabolites are not measurable in tissues 4 to 8 weeks after exposure, although metabolism rates varied significantly between species. Food chain biomagnification is usually low, except in some marine mammals. In most mammals, the metabolite oxychlordane has proven much more toxic and persistent than the parent chemical.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
Organization Series
Chlordane Hazards to Fish, Wildlife, and Invertebrates: A Synoptic Review
Series title:
Contaminant Hazard Reviews
Series number:
Report 21 ; Biological Report 85(1.21).
Year Published:
U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service
Publisher location:
Laurel, MD
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
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