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chlordane Chemical Fact Sheet 12/86

                            CHEMICAL FACT SHEET FOR



                        1. DESCRIPTION OF CHEMICAL

Generic Name:  1,2,4,5,6,7,8,8-octachloro-2,3,3a,4,7,7a-hexahydro-4,7-
Common Name:  Chlordane
Trade Names:  1,2,4,5,6,7,8,8-octachloro-3a,4,7,7a-tetrahydro-4,7-
              methanoindan; Velsicol 1068; Velsicol 168; M-410; Belt;
              Chlor-Kil; Chlortox; Corodane; Gold Crest C-100; Gold
              Crest C-50; Kilex; Kypchlor; Niran; Octachlor; Synchlor;
              Termi-Ded; Topiclor 20; Chlordan; Prentox; and Penticklor.
EPA Shaughnessy Code:  058201
Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Number:  57-47-9
Year of Initial Registration:  1948
Pesticide Type:  Insecticide
Chemical Family:  Chlorinated cyclodiene
U.S. and Foreign Producers:  Velsicol Chemical Corporation

                    2. USE PATTERNS AND FORMULATIONS

- Application Sites:  Subsurface soil treatment for termite control;
  underground cables for termite control; above ground structural
  application for control of termites and other wood-destroying insects.
- Types of Formulations:  Emulsifiable concentrates; granular; soluble
- Types and Methods of Application:  trenching, rodding, subslab
  injection, low pressure spray for subsurface termite control; brush,
  spray, or dip for applying to structural wood
- Application Rates:  0.5 to 2.0% emulsion for termite control; 3.0 to
  4.25% solution for above ground structural wood treatment.

                         3. SCIENCE FINDINGS

Chemical Characteristics

- Physical State:  Crystalline solid 
- Color:  White 
- Odor:  Chlorine odor 
- Molecular weight and formula: 409.8 - ClOH6C18 
- Melting Point:  95 to 96 degrees C 
- Boiling Point:  118 degrees C at 0.66 mmHg (technical) 
- Density:  1.59 - 1.63 at 25 degrees C 
- Vapor Pressure:  0.00001 mmHg at 25 C (technical) 
- Solubility in various solvents:  Miscible with aliphatic and aromatic
  hydrocarbon solvents, including deodorized kerosene, insoluble in
- Stability:  Loses its chlorine in presence of alkaline reagents and
  should not be formulated with any solvent, carrier, diluent or
  emulsifier which has an alkaline reaction (technical)

Toxicological Characteristics

- Acute oral:  data gap 
- Acute dermal:  data Gap 
- Primary dermal irritation:  data gap 
- Primary eye irritation:  data gap (except for a 72% technical
- Skin sensitization:  not a sensitizer 
- Acute inhalation:  data gap 
- Subchronic inhalation (2-week duration) using rats or guinea pigs:
  data gap 
- Subchronic inhalation (l-year duration) using rats:  data gap 
- Major routes of exposure:  inhalation exposure to occupants of treated
  structures; dermal and respiratory exposure to termiticide applicators
- Delayed neurotoxicity:  does not cause delayed neurotoxic effects 
- Oncogenicity:  This chemical is classified as a Group B2 oncogen
  (probable human oncogen). 
  - There are three long-term carcinogenesis bioassays of chlordane in
    mice which were independently conducted by investigators affiliated 
    with the National Cancer Institute, the International Research and
    Development Corporation, and the Research Institute for Animal
    Science in Biochemistry and Toxicology, Japan. Reported in these
    studies were significant tumor responses in three different strains
    of mice (IRC, CFl, and B6C3Fl) in males and females with a
    dose-related increase in the proportion of tumors that were
    malignant. In Fischer 344 rats, significant tumor responses were
    reported in a study conducted by the Research Institute for Animal
    Science in Biochemistry and Toxicology. 
- Chronic feeding: Based on a rat chronic feeding study with chlordane,
  a Lowest Effect Level (LEL) of 0.05 mg/kg/day for liver effects has
  been calculated.
- Teratogenicity:  data gap
- Reproduction:  data gap
- Mutagenicity:  Data gap. Further testing is required in all three
  categories (gene mutation, structural chromosome aberrations and other
  genotoxic effects.

Physiological and Biochemical Characteristics

- The precise mode of action in biological systems is not known. In
  humans, signs of acute intoxication are primarily related to the
  central nervous system (CNS), including hyperexcitability, 
  depression and death.
- Metabolism:  Chlordane's major metabolite is oxychlordane.
  Oxychlordane has been found to be a major fat tissue residue in rats.
  Human fat samples frequently contain trans-nonachlor, a contaminant
  found in technical chlordane, as a major residue.

Environmental Characteristics

- Available data are insufficient to fully assess the environmental fate
  of chlordane. Data gaps exist for all applicable studies. However,
  available supplementary data indicate general trends of chlordane
  behavior in the environment. Chlordane is persistent and
  bioaccumulates. Chlordane is not expected to leach, since it is
  insoluble in water and should adsorb to the soil surface; thus it
  should not reach underground aquifers. However, additional data are
  necessary to fully assess the potential for ground-water contamination
  as a result of the termiticide use of chlordane.

Ecological Characteristics

- Avian acute toxicity:  LD50 of 83.0 mg/kg in bobwhite quail
- Avian dietary toxicity (8-day):  858 ppm in mallard duck; 331 ppm in
  bobwhite quail; and 430 ppm in pheasant.
- Freshwater fish acute toxicity (96-Hr. LC50):  57 to 74.8 ug/L for
  bluegill; 42 to 90 ug/L for rainbow trout.
- Freshwater invertebrate toxicity: 15 to 590 ug/L for Pteronarcys and
  Daphnia, respectively.

Tolerance Assessment

- No tolerance reassessment for chlordane is necessary, since there are
  no food or feed uses. The Agency is proceeding to revoke all
  tolerances and replace them with action levels. The final rule is
  scheduled for publication in the Federal Register in early 1987.

Summary Science Statement

- Chlordane is a chlorinated cyclodiene with moderate acute toxicity.
  the chemical has demonstrated adverse chronic effects in mice (causing
  liver tumors). Chlordane may pose a significant health risk of chronic
  liver effects to occupants of structures treated with chlordane for
  termite control. This risk may be determined to be of regulatory
  concern, pending further evaluation. Chlordane is highly toxic to
  aquatic organisms and birds. Chlordane is persistent and
  bioaccumulates. Chlordane may have a potential for contaminating
  surface water; thus, a special study is required to delineate this
  potential. Applicator exposure studies are required to determine
  whether exposure to applicators may be posing health risks. special
  product-specific subacute inhalation testing is required to evaluate
  the short-term respiratory hazards to humans in structures treated
  with chlordane. An inhalation study of one-year duration using rats is
  required to assess potential hazards to humans in treated residences
  from this route of exposure. The Agency has been apprised of reported
  cases of optic neuritis associated with termiticide treatment of 
  To determine whether this is a significant health effect, the 
  registrant must have eye tissue from the latest two-year rat
  oncogenicity study analyzed by neuropathologists specializing in optic
  tissue pathology. Data available to the Agency show an occurrence of
  misuse and misapplication of chlordane. The Agency is requiring
  restricted use classification of all end-use products containing
  chlordane. Application must be made either in the actual physical
  presence of a Certified Applicator, or if the Certified Applicator is
  not physically present at the site, each uncertified applicator must
  have completed a State approved training course in termiticide
  application meeting minimal EPA training requirements and be
  registered in the State in which the uncertified applicator is


- EPA is currently evaluating the potential human health risks of 
  1) non-oncogenic chronic liver effects, and 2) oncogenic effects to
  determine whether additional regulatory action on chlordane may be
- In order to meet the statutory standard for continued registration,
  retail sale and use of all end-use products containing chlordane must
  be restricted to Certified Applicators or persons under their direct
  supervision. for purposes of chlordane use, direct supervision by a
  Certified Applicator means 1 ) the actual physical presence of a
  Certified Applicator at the application site during application, or 
  2) if the Certified Applicator is not physically present at the site,
  each uncertified applicator must have completed a State approved
  training course in termiticide application meeting minimal EPA
  training requirements and be registered in the State in which the
  uncertified applicator is working; the Certified Applicator must be
  available if and when needed.
- In order to meet the statutory standard for continued registration,
  chlordane product labels must be revised to provide specific chlordane
  disposal procedures, and to provide fish and wildlife toxicity
- The Agency is requiring a special monitoring study to evaluate whether
  and to what extent surface water contamination may be resulting from
  the use of chlordane as a termiticide.
- Special product-specific subacute inhalation testing is required to
  evaluate the respiratory hazards to humans in structures treated with
  termiticide products containing chlordane.
- Evaluation of eye tissue from the latest two-year rat oncogenicity
  study is required to determine whether chlordane's termiticide use may
  be causing optic neuritis in humans.
- The Agency is requiring the submission of applicator exposure data
  from dermal and respiratory routes of exposure.
- While data gaps are being filled, currently registered manufacturing
  use products and end use products containing chlordane may be sold,
  distributed, formulated, and used, subject to the terms and conditions
  specified in the Registration Standard for chlordane, and any
  additional regulatory action taken by the Agency. Registrants must
  provide or agree to develop additional data in order to maintain
  existing registrations.

                    5. SUMMARY OF MAJOR DATA GAPS

- Hydrolysis
- Photodegradation in water
- Aerobic soil metabolism
- Anaerobic soil metabolism
- Leaching and adsorption/desorption
- Aerobic aquatic metabolism
- Soil dissipation
- Chronic toxicity studies - rodents and non-rodents
- Teratogenicity
- Mutagenicity studies
- Acute toxicity studies 
- Optic tissue pathology 
- Special surface water monitoring studies 
- Applicator exposure studies 
- Indoor air exposure studies 
- Special product-specific subchronic inhalation study (two-week
  duration using guinea pigs or rats) 
- Subchronic inhalation study (one-year duration using rats) 
- All product chemistry studies

                        6. CONTACT PERSON AT EPA

George LaRocca
Product Manager No. 15
Insecticide-Rodenticide Branch
Registration Division (TS-767C)
Office of Pesticide Programs
Environmental Protection Agency
401 M Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460

Office location and telephone number:

Room 204, Crystal Mall #2
1921 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 557-2386