Lindane (Isotox) - Chemical Profile 4/85
CHEMICAL name: Gamma isomer of 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexachloro cyclohexane
DEC INGRED. CODE:
TRADE name(S): Exagama, Forlin, Gallogama, Gamaphex, Gammex, Isotox,
Lindafor, Lindagam, Lindagrain, Lindagranox, Lindalo,
Lindamul, Lindapoudre, Lindaterra, Novigam, Silvanol
FORMULATION(S): Emulsifiable concentrates, flowables, wettable
powders, oil-base sprays, granules, dusts, aerosols,
smoke generator (56).
TYPE: Organochlorine insecticide
BASIC PRODUCER(S): Rhone-Poulenc Agrochimie
14-20 rue Pierre Baizet
Lyon 69009 France
STATUS: Restricted use. RPAR; criteria possibly met or exceeded:
oncogenicity, teratogenicity, reproductive effects, acute toxicity, other
chronic effects. PD1 published 2/18/77; comment period closed 6/20/77.
PD 2/3 completed and Notice of Determination published 7/3/80; comment
period closed 9/15/80. PD4 being developed (22).
PRINCIPAL USES: Insects on ornamentals and trees (especially
borers), seed treatments, livestock pests; possesses significant
vapor toxicity. Cancelled for use in vaporizers (1974) (1).
For many uses of which seed treatments are prominent (soil
treatment, foliage application on fruit and nut trees, vegetables,
ornamentals, timber, and wood protection). Possesses more vapor
toxicity than most of the organochlorine insecticides. Also for
protection of tobacco transplants from cutworms and wireworms (56).
Important Pests Controlled: Aphids, lygus bugs, grasshoppers, spittle-
bugs, thrips, plum curculio, fleabeetles, ants, leafminers, cockroaches,
armyworms, wireworms, Diabrotica, flies, mosquitoes, boll weevils, mange
mites, termites and many others (8a).
II. PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
MOLECULAR FORMULA: C6 H6 Cl6 (62)
MOLECULAR WEIGHT: 290.8 (62)
PHYSICAL STATE: Colorless crystals (pure compound) (62)
ODOR: Essentially odorless (56)
MELTING POINT: 112 C (pure compound) (62)
VAPOR PRESSURE: 5.6 mPa at 20 C (pure compound) (62)
SOLUBILITY: 7 mg/l water at 20 C (pure compound) (62)
III. HEALTH HAZARD INFORMATION
OSHA STANDARD: 0.5 mg/m3 averaged over an eight-hour work shift (14)
NIOSH RECOMMENDED LIMIT: None established
ACGIH RECOMMENDED LIMIT: TWA (Time Weighted Average) = 0.5 mg/m3;
STEL (Short Term Exposure Limit) = 1.5 mg/m3
(deleted); skin notation (15c).
A. ACUTE TOXICITY
DERMAL: LD50 = 900-1000 mg/kg (rat) (62)
The dry material applied to the skin of rabbits caused
moderate skin irritation (14).
ORAL: Acute oral LD50 values vary with the conditions of the
test, especially the carrier: for rats 88-270 mg/kg;
for mice 59-246 mg/kg (62).
LD50 = 88-125 mg/kg (male rat) (56)
EYES: Test applications of a 3% dust mixture with talc on
the eyes and nasal mucosa of rabbits produced no
B. SUBACUTE AND CHRONIC TOXICITY:
In 2-yr feeding trials NEL was: for rats 25 mg/kg diet; for dogs
50 mg/kg diet (62).
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has
evaluated the data on this chemical and has concluded that it causes
Repeated feeding to rats of 800 ppm in the diet resulted in mild
liver damage; kidney damage occurred at higher levels. Mice fed 400
ppm in the diet developed liver tumors and, in some cases, lung
Lindane levels in the blood do not appear to increase with
increased duration of exposure but primarily reflect recent lindane
absorption; production workers exposed to air levels of 31 to 1800
ug/m3 had blood levels of 1.9 to 8.3 ppb (14).
IV. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS
Some hazard to birds, fish and beneficial insects. Hazardous to
honey bees. Biological magnification difficult. Injury reported on
potatoes and walnuts. Off flavor has resulted in some crops (1).
Ramade, et al (1974) investigated the influence of lindane in
concentrations 1, 5, and 10 ppm water of 6 C in different stages of
development of the rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri). All concentrations
caused dose-dependent decrease in hatchability of the eggs and
disturbed the morphogenesis of the embryo. The alevins exhibited an
increasing sensitivity from the point of hatching (mortality about 50%)
to the stage of resorption of the yolk sac (mortality about 100%). The
alevins were much more sensitive to lindane than adult trout. Some
major histological changes were noted in the muscle and in the liver
In tests with 12 mostly American freshwater fish, Macek and
McAllister (1970) found 96 hour LC50 values between 0.002 and 0.131
ppm. The most susceptible species were brown trout and rainbow trout
with values of 0.002 and 0.027 ppm respectively and the least sensitive
were carp and goldfish with values of 0.09 and 0.131 ppm. FWPCA
(Federal Water Pollution Control Administration, U.S.D.I.) (1963) gave
a 48 hour LC50 for the rainbow trout of 0.018 ppm (44).
Lindane is relatively stable in the environment. It is persistent
in soils but is biodegradable there under wet anaerobic conditions. In
mammals there are mechanisms for metabolism and excretion of this
pesticide. Lindane is not cumulative in blood, or rat fat in which it
is very soluble. While metabolism of lindane in the human body is
apparent, in an inert environment this pesticide is extremely
persistent and disappears essentially only by volatilization. These
properties of fat solubility, persistence and ability to vaporize
continuously lead to lindane's ready penetration into food, into the
body of chickens and then into the yolk of their eggs, and into exposed
humans. These are all examples which underlie the need for concern
about the health aspects of lindane toxicity (45).
Approximate Residual Period: 1 to 2 weeks on plant surfaces; 1 year in
soil, longer in water (1).
V. EMERGENCY AND FIRST AID PROCEDURES
The chemical information provided below has been condensed
from original source documents, primarily from "Recognition and
Management of Pesticide Poisonings", 3rd ed. by Donald P. Morgan,
which have been footnoted. This information has been provided in
this form for your convenience and general guidance only. In
specific cases, further consultation and reference may be required
and is recommended. This information is not intended as a sub-
stitute for a more exhaustive review of the literature nor for the
judgement of a physician or other trained professional.
If poisoning is suspected, do not wait for symptoms to develop.
Contact a physician, the nearest hospital, or the nearest Poison
FREQUENT SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS OF POISONING BY ORGANOCHLORINE PESTICIDES
APPREHENSION, EXCITABILITY, DIZZINESS, headACHE, DISORIENTATION,
WEAKNESS, PARESTHESIAE, muscle twitching, tremor, tonic and clonic
CONVULSIONS (often epileptiform), and unconsciousness are the major
manifestations. Soon after ingestion, nausea and vomiting commonly
occur. When chemicals are absorbed dermally, apprehension, twitching,
tremors, confusion, and convulsions may be the first symptoms.
Respiratory depression is caused by the pesticide and by the petroleum
solvents in which these pesticides are usually dissolved. Pallor occurs
in moderate to severe poisoning. Cyanosis may result as convulsive
activity interferes with respiration (25).
SKIN CONTACT: Bathe and shampoo the victim vigorously with soap
and water if skin and hair have been contaminated (25).
INGESTION: If victim is alert and gag reflex is not depressed,
give Syrup of Ipecac to induce vomiting (adults and children 12 years
and older: 30 ml; children under 12: 15 ml), followed by 1-2 glasses
of water (25).
INHALATION: Move the exposed person to fresh air at once. If
breathing has stopped, perform artificial respiration. Keep the
affected person warm and at rest. Get medical attention as soon as
EYE CONTACT: Wash eyes immediately with large amounts of water,
lifting the lower and upper lids occasionally. If irritation is
present after washing, get medical attention. Contact lenses should
not be worn when working with this chemical (14).
NOTES TO PHYSICIAN:
CONTROL CONVULSIONS. DIAZEPAM (VALIUM (TM)) is a valuable
anticonvulsant. Adult dosage: 5-10 mg (1-2 ml) slowly, intravenously
(no faster than one ml per minute) or give total dose intramuscularly
(deep). Repeat in 2-4 hours if needed.
Dosage for children under 6 years or 23 kg in weight: 0.1 mg/kg (0.02
ml/kg) intravenously, no faster than half the total dose per minute, or
give total dose intramuscularly (deep). Repeat in 2-4 hours if needed.
Persons suffering SEVERE PROTRACTED CONVULSIONS may require additional
anticonvulsant medication. Agents that have been used successfully in
the past are pentobarbital (Numbutal (TM)), phenytoin (Dilantin (TM)),
thiopental (Pentothal (TM)), and succinylcholine (Anectine (TM)).
If the victim is NOT FULLY ALERT, empty the stomach immediately by
INTUBATION, ASPIRTION, and LAVAGE, using isotonic saline or 5% sodium
bicarbonate. Because many pesticides are dissolved in petroleum
distillates, emesis and intubation of the stomach involve a serious
risk that solvent will be aspirated, leading to chemical pneumonitis.
DO NOT give epinephrine or other adrenergic amines, because of the
enhanced myocardial irritability induced by chlorinated hydrocarbons
VI. FIRE AND EXPLOSION INFORMATION
Above 177 C (350 F) lindane decomposes to form toxic and
irritating hydrogen chloride gas (14).
Toxic gases and vapors (such as phosgene, hydrogen chloride, and
carbon monoxide) may be released in a fire involving lindane (14).
Flammability: not combustible, but may be dissolved in a
combustible solvent (14).
Generally compatible with most materials (1). Incompatible with
lime sulfur, lime, and calcium arsenate. Corrosive to aluminum (8a).
VIII. PROTECTIVE MEASURES
STORAGE AND HANDLING: Store in a dry place. Avoid exposure of product
to extreme heat, strong alkalis, and powdered metals (56).
PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Employees should be provided with and required to
use impervious clothing, gloves, face shields (eight-inch minimum), and
other protective clothing necessary to prevent skin contact with
lindane or liquids containing lindane where skin contact may occur.
Employees should be provided with and required to use dust- and
splash-proof safety goggles where lindane or liquids containing lindane
may contact the eyes (14).
PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT: Respirators may be used when engineering and
work practice controls are not technically feasible, when such controls
are in the process of being installed, or when they fail and need to be
supplemented. Respirators may also be used in emergency situations.
If the use of respirators is necessary, the only respirators permitted
are those that have been approved by the Mine Safety and Health
Administration or by the National Institute for Occupational Safety
and Health (14).
IX. PROCEDURES FOR SPILLS AND LEAKS
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, CALL, DAY OR NIGHT
PESTICIDE TEAM SAFETY NETWORK/CHEMTREC
Persons not wearing protective equipment and clothing should be
restricted from areas of spills until cleanup has been completed.
If lindane is spilled, the following steps should be taken:
1. Ventilate area of spill.
2. Collect spilled material in the most convenient and safe
manner and deposit in sealed containers for reclamation or for
disposal in a secured sanitary landfill. Liquid containing
lindane should be absorbed in vermiculite, dry sand, earth, or
a similar material.
Waste disposal method:
Lindane may be disposed of in sealed containers in a secured
sanitary landfill (14).
X. LITERATURE CITED
1. Harding, W.C. 1979. Pesticide profiles, part one: insecticides
and miticides. Univ. Maryland, Coop. Ext. Serv. Bull. 267.
8a. Thomson, W. T. 1976. Agricultural chemicals - book 1:
insecticides, acaricides, and ovicides. Revised ed. Thomson
Publ., Indianapolis, IN. 232 pp.
14. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute
for Occuptational Safety and Health. 1981. Occupational
health guidelines for chemical hazards. F. W. Mackinson, R.
S. Stricoff, L. J. Partridge, Jr., and A. D. Little, Inc.,
eds. DHHS (NIOSH) Publ. No. 81-123. Washington, DC.
15c. American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. 1984.
TLVs: threshold limit values for chemical substances and
physical agents in the work environment and biological exposure
indices with intended changes for 1984-85. Cincinnati, OH.
22. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticide
Programs. 1983. June 1983 status report on rebuttable
presumption against registration (RPAR) or special review
process, registration standards and the data call in
programs. Washington, DC. 45 pp.
25. Morgan, D.P. 1982. Recognition and management of pesticide
poisonings, 3rd ed. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Washington, DC. 120 pp.
44. Ulmann, E., ed. 1974. Lindane: I. supplement 1974. Verlag
Karl Schillinger, Freiburg, West Germany.
45. Lindane Advisory Committee. 1970. Report, July 2, 1970.
56. Farm Chemicals Handbook, 70th ed. 1984. R. T. Meister, G. L.
Berg, C. Sine, S. Meister, and J. Poplyk, eds. Meister
Publishing Co., Willoughby, OH.
62. The Pesticide Manual: A World Compendium, 7th ed. 1983. C.R.
Worthing, ed. The British Crop Protection Council, Croydon,
England. 695 pp.