Agent Name

Hexachlorobenzene

Alternative Name

HCB

CAS Number

118-74-1

Formula

C6-Cl6

Major Category

Pesticides

Synonyms

HCB; AI 3.01719; Amatin; Anticarie; Benzene, hexachloro-; Bunt-cure; Bunt-no-more; CEKU C.B.; CO-OP Hexa; ENT-1719; Esaclorobenzene [Italian]; Granox; Granox NM; HCB; Hexa C.B.; Hexa CB; Hexachlorbenzol; Hexachlorbenzol [German]; Hexachlorobenzene; Julin's carbon chloride; NO Bunt; NO Bunt 40; NO Bunt 80; NO Bunt liquid; Pentachlorophenyl chloride; Perchlorobenzene; Phenyl perchloryl; Saatbeizfungizid [German]; Sanocid; Sanocide; Smut-Go; Snieciotox; Voronit C; Benzene, 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexachloro-; [ChemIDplus] UN2729

Category

Organochlorine Pesticides

Description

Colorless to white solid; [ICSC] White powder; [Aldrich MSDS]

Sources/Uses

Was used as a pesticide until 1965; it may be produced as a waste product from chloralkali and wood-preserving plants or as an emission from municipal incinerators; it can bioaccumulate in lichens, fish, marine animals, birds, and caribou; [ATSDR ToxFAQs] Used as a seed fungicide to prevent common and dwarf bunt on wheat; [EXTOXNET] "Hexachlorobenzene differs chemically and toxicologically from hexachlorocyclohexane, the gamma isomer of which (lindane) is still a widely-used insecticide." [EPA Pesticides] Used in organic synthesis; [Merck Index] Used to make rubber, electrodes, dyes, pentachlorophenol, and aromatic fluorocarbons; Also used as plasticizer for polyvinyl chloride, wood preservative, in military pyrotechnics, and to impregnate paper; [HSDB] Uses likely discontinued: as a wood preservative and in manufacture of munitions, aluminum (fluxing agent), graphite anodes, and rubber; Used as fungicidal seed treatment in some countries until 1985; Still produced in appreciable quantities as by-product in manufacture of chlorinated solvents and pesticides; [INCHEM HSG]

Comments

In Turkey between 1955-1958, about 4000 people developed a cutaneous porphyria syndrome six months after eating bread contaminated with hexachlorobenzene. [Ladou, p. 265] "No evidence of hepatic injury in humans as the result of environmental contamination." [Zimmerman, p. 414] May affect liver and nervous system causing impaired organ function and skin lesions; May be toxic to human reproduction, based on animal studies; [ICSC] The liver is the primary target organ of toxicity; Interferes with porphyrin metabolism which may lead to acquired porphyria cutanea tarda; Crosses the placenta and is excreted in breast milk; May cause skin, eye, nose, throat and lung irritation; No evidence of inhalation causing porphyria cutanea tarda or other adverse effects; Skin absorption not considered major route of exposure, although dermal absorption has been shown in studies of rats; [INCHEM PIM]

Restricted

Banned from use as a pesticide in the U.S. [EXTOXNET]

Reference Link

EXTOXNET PIP - HEXACHLOROBENZENE

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Yes

Bioaccumulates

Yes

TLV (ACGIH)

0.002 mg/m3

Vapor Pressure

1.8E-5 mm Hg

Lethal Concentration

LC50 (rat) = 3,600 mg/m3

Half Life

Half-life in rats and monkeys was measured at 3-4 months and 2 1/2 to 3 years, respectively. [EXTOXNET]

Reference Link

ATSDR - ToxFAQs - Hexachlorobenzene

Adverse Effects
Hepatotoxin

Hepatotoxin, Secondary

Reproductive Toxin

Yes

Other Poison

Organochlorine Pesticide

IARC Carcinogen

Possible Carcinogen

NTP Carcinogen

Anticipated Human Carcinogen

ACGIH Carcinogen

Confirmed Animal

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

Search TOXNET

Chemical Information

Search ChemIDplus

Biomedical References

Search PubMed

Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:

Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: