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Physical Information

Name: Organochlorine Insecticides

Use: kill insects

Source: synthetic chemistry, plants

Recommended daily intake: none (not essential)

Absorption: intestine, inhalation, skin

Sensitive individuals: fetus, children, elderly

Toxicity/symptoms: nerous system, range of problems depending on the chemical

Regulatory facts: RfDs exist for many insecticides. Regulated by EPA

General facts: billions of pounds used every year in agricultural and residential use

Environmental: pesticides are used globally; some are very persistent in the environment

Recommendations: avoid, consider alternatives, Integrated Pest Management

Chemical Description

The chemical structure of organochlorines is diverse but they all contain chlorine, which paces them in a larger class of compounds called chorinated hydrocarbons.

Notable Organochlorines


There are a number of alternatives to organochlorines:

  • Integrated Pest Management present a series of steps to rid pests while not exposing the environment or humans to additional stress.


Gilbert, Steven. A Small Dose of Toxicology. (CRC Press, 2004.)

Kamel F and Hoppin JA. Association of pesticide exposure with neurologic dysfunction and disease. Environ Health Perspect. 2004 Jun;112(9):950-8. Available online at EHPonline. (accessed: 30 June 2004).

MMWR (1999). Farm worker illness following exposure to carbofuran and other pesticides - Fresno County, California, 1998. February 19, 1999, 48(6), 113-116. (accessed: 5 July 2003).
Dean, S. R., & Meola, R. W. (2002). Effect of diet composition on weight gain, sperm transfer, and insemination in the cat flea (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). J Med Entomol, 39(2), 370-375.

Dryden, M. W., & Gaafar, S. M. (1991). Blood consumption by the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae)

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