DDT affects the nervous system. People who accidentally swallowed large amounts of DDT became excitable and had tremors and seizures. These effects went away after the exposure stopped. No effects were seen in people who took small daily doses of DDT by capsule for 18 months.
A study in humans showed that women who had high amounts of a form of DDE in their breast milk were unable to breast feed their babies for as long as women who had little DDE in the breast milk. Another study in humans showed that women who had high amounts of DDE in breast milk had an increased chance of having premature babies.
In animals, short-term exposure to large amounts of DDT in food affected the nervous system, while long-term exposure to smaller amounts affected the liver. Also in animals, short-term oral exposure to small amounts of DDT or its breakdown products may also have harmful effects on reproduction.
Studies in DDT-exposed workers did not show increases in cancer. Studies in animals given DDT with the food have shown that DDT can cause liver cancer.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) determined that DDT may reasonable be anticipated to be a human carcinogen. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that DDT may possibly cause cancer in humans. The EPA determined that DDT, DDE, and DDD are probable human carcinogens.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets a limit of 1 milligram of DDT per cubic meter of air (1 mg/m3) in the workplace for an 8-hour shift, 40-hour workweek.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set limits for DDT, DDE, and DDD in foodstuff at or above which the agency will take legal action to remove the products from the market.
Chlordane affects the nervous system, the digestive system, and the liver in people and animals. Headaches, irritability, confusion, weakness, vision problems, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and jaundice have occurred in people who breathed air containing high concentrations of chlordane or accidentally swallowed small amounts of chlordane. Large amounts of chlordane taken by mouth can cause convulsions and death in people.
A man who had long-term skin contact with soil containing high levels of chlordane had convulsions. Japanese workers who used chlordane over a long period of time had minor changes in liver function.
Animals given high levels of chlordane by mouth for short periods died or had convulsions. Long-term exposure caused harmful effects in the liver of test animals.
We do not know whether chlordane affects the ability of people to have children or whether it causes birth defects. Animals exposed before birth or while nursing developed behavioral effects later.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has determined that chlordane is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans. Studies of workers who made or used chlordane do not show that exposure to chlordane is related to cancer, but the information is not sufficient to know for sure. Mice fed low levels of chlordane in food developed liver cancer.
In 1988, the EPA banned all uses of chlordane. The EPA recommends that a child should not drink water with more than 60 parts of chlordane per billion parts of drinking water (60 ppb) for longer than 1 day. EPA has set a limit in drinking water of 2 ppb.
EPA requires spills or releases of chlordane into the environment of 1 pound or more to be reported to EPA.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limits the amount of chlordane and its breakdown products in most fruits and vegetables to less than 300 ppb and in animal fat and fish to less than 100 ppb.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) set a maximum level of 0.5 milligrams of chlordane per cubic meter (mg/m³) in workplace air for an 8-hour workday, 40-hour workweek. These agencies have advised that eye and skin contact should be avoided because this may be a significant route of exposure.
People who intentionally or accidentally ingested large amounts of aldrin or dieldrin suffered convulsions and some died. Health effects may also occur after a longer period of exposure to smaller amounts because these chemicals build up in the body.
Some workers exposed to moderate levels in the air for a long time had headaches, dizziness, irritability, vomiting, and uncontrolled muscle movements. Workers removed from the source of exposure rapidly recovered from most of these effects.
Animals exposed to high amounts of aldrin or dieldrin also had nervous system effects. In animals, oral exposure to lower levels for a long period also affected the liver and decreased their ability to fight infections. We do not know whether aldrin or dieldrin affect the ability of people to fight disease.
Studies in animals have given conflicting results about whether aldrin and dieldrin affect reproduction in male animals and whether these chemicals may damage the sperm. We do not know whether aldrin or dieldrin affect reproduction in humans.
There is no conclusive evidence that aldrin or dieldrin cause cancer in humans. Aldrin and dieldrin have shown to cause liver cancer in mice. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that aldrin and dieldrin are not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity. The EPA has determined that aldrin and dieldrin are probable human carcinogens.
The EPA limits the amount of aldrin and dieldrin that may be present in drinking water to 0.001 and 0.002 milligrams per liter (mg/L) of water, respectively, for protection against health effects other than cancer. The EPA has determined that a concentration of aldrin and dieldrin of 0.0002 mg/L in drinking water limits the lifetime risk of developing cancer from exposure to each compound to 1 in 10,000.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets a maximum average of 0.25 milligrams of aldrin and dieldrin per cubic meter of air (0.25 mg/m3) in the workplace during an 8-hour shift, 40 hour week. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) also recommends a limit of 0.25 mg/m3 for both compounds for up to a 10-hour work day, 40-hour week.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the residues of aldrin and dieldrin in raw foods. The allowable range is from 0 to 0.1 ppm, depending on the type of food product.
Exposure to endrin can cause various harmful effects including death and severe central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) injury. Swallowing large amounts of endrin may cause convulsions and kill you in a few minutes or hours.
Symptoms that may result from endrin poisoning are headaches, dizziness, nervousness, confusion, nausea, vomiting, and convulsions.
No long-term health effects have been noted in workers who have been exposed to endrin by breathing or touching it.
Studies in animals confirm that endrin’s main target is the nervous system.
Birth defects, especially abnormal bone formation, have been seen in some animal studies.
In studies using rats, mice, and dogs, endrin did not produce cancer. However, most of these studies did not accurately evaluate the ability of endrin to cause cancer.
No significant excess of cancer has been found in exposed factory workers.
The EPA has determined that endrin is not classifiable as to its human carcinogenicity because there is not enough information to allow classification.
The EPA’s maximum contaminant level (MCL) for endrin in drinking water is 0.0002 milligrams per liter (0.0002 mg/L).
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established a limit of 0.1 mg endrin per cubic meter of air (0.1 mg/m3) for an 8-hour day in a 40-hour workweek.
There is no reliable information on health effects in humans. Liver damage, excitability, and decreases in fertility have been observed in animals ingesting heptachlor. The effects are worse when the exposure levels were high or when exposure lasted many weeks.
Although there is very little information on heptachlor epoxide, it is likely that similar effects would also occur after exposure to this compound.
Lifetime exposure to heptachlor resulted in liver tumors in animals. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the EPA have classified heptachlor as a possible human carcinogen. EPA also considers heptachlor epoxide as a possible human carcinogen.
The EPA requires that drinking water should not contain more than 0.0004 milligrams heptachlor per liter of water (0.0004 mg/L) and 0.0002 mg heptachlor epoxide per liter of water (0.0002 mg/L).
The FDA controls the amount of heptachlor and heptachlor epoxide on raw food crops and on edible seafood. The limit on food crops is 0.01 parts heptachlor per million parts food (0.01 ppm). The limit in milk is 0.1 parts per million of milk fat. The limit on edible seafood is 0.3 ppm.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a limit of 0.5 milligrams heptachlor per cubic meter of workplace air (0.5 mg/m3) for 8 hour shifts and 40 hour work weeks.
Endosulfan affects the central nervous system and prevents it from working properly. Hyperactivity, nausea, dizziness, headache, or convulsions have been observed in adults exposed to high doses. Severe poisoning may result in death.
Studies of the effects of endosulfan on animals suggest that long-term exposure to endosulfan can also damage the kidneys, testes, and liver and may possibly affect the body's ability to fight infection. However, it is not known if these effects also occur in humans.
High levels of toluene may affect your kidneys.
We do not know if endosulfan can cause cancer in humans. Studies in animals have provided inconclusive results.
The EPA recommends that the amount of endosulfan in rivers, lakes, and streams should not be more than 74 parts per billion (74 ppb).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows no more than 24 parts per million (24 ppm) endosulfan on dried tea.
EPA allows no more than 0.1 to 2 ppm endosulfan on other raw agricultural products.
There is very little information on how methoxychlor can affect people's health. Animals exposed to very high amounts of methoxychlor suffered tremors and convulsions and seizures. Because methoxychlor is broken down quickly in the body, you are not likely to experience these effects unless you are exposed to very high levels.
Animal studies show that exposure to methoxychlor in food or water harms the ovaries, uterus, and mating cycle in females, and the testes and prostate in males. Fertility is decreased in both male and female animals. These effects can occur both in adult and in developing animals and could also occur following inhalation or skin contact. These effects are caused by a breakdown product of methoxychlor which acts as a natural sex hormone. These effects have not been reported in humans, but they could happen
Most of the information available from human and animal studies suggests that methoxychlor does not cause cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the EPA have determined that methoxychlor is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans.
The EPA also limits the amount of methoxychlor that may be present in drinking water to 0.04 parts of methoxychlor per million parts of water (0.04 ppm). The EPA also limits the amount of methoxychlor present in agricultural products to 1-100 ppm.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 15 milligrams of methoxychlor per cubic meter of air (15 mg/m3) in the workplace during an 8-hour shift.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limits the amount of methoxychlor in bottled water to 0.04 ppm.