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May 1994
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH)

CAS number: 58–89–9

NIOSH REL: 0.5 mg/m3 TWA [skin]

Current OSHA PEL: 0.5 mg/m3 TWA [skin]

1989 OSHA PEL: Same as current PEL

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 0.5 mg/m3 TWA [skin]

Description of substance: White to yellow, crystalline powder with a slight, musty odor.

LEL:. Noncombustible Solid

Original (SCP) IDLH: 1,000 mg/m3

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: No useful data on acute inhalation toxicity are available on which to base the IDLH for lindane. The chosen IDLH, therefore, has been based on the child oral TDLO of 180 mg/kg [CDC 1956 cited by NIOSH 1976] and the statement by Negherbon [1959] that the dangerous acute dose for man has been reported as 7 to 15 grams [CDC 1956].

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed


Lethal dose data:

Species Reference Route LD50




Adjusted LD Derived value
Rabbit Desi et al. 1978 oral 60 ----- 420 mg/m3 42 mg/m3
Rat Kenaga & Morgan 1978 oral 76 ----- 532 mg/m3 53 mg/m3
Mouse Sun 1972 oral 44 ----- 308 mg/m3 31 mg/m3
Hamster Truhaut et al. 1974 oral 360 ----- 2,520 mg/m3 252 mg/m3
G. pig Woodard & Hagan 1947 oral 127 ----- 889 mg/m3 89 mg/m3

Human data: An oral dose of 150 mg/kg has been associated with grandmal seizures [Starr and Clifford 1972]. [Note: An oral dose of 150 mg/kg is equivalent to a 70-kg worker being exposed to 7,000 mg/m3 for 30 minutes, assuming a breathing rate of 50 liters per minute and 100% absorption.] It has also been stated that 7 to 15 grams is the dangerous acute dose [CDC 1956]. [Note: An oral dose of 7 to 15 grams is equivalent to a worker being exposed to 4,667 to 10,000 mg/m3 for 30 minutes, assuming a breathing rate of 50 liters per minute and 100% absorption.]

Revised IDLH: 50 mg/m3

Basis for revised IDLH: No inhalation toxicity data are available on which to base an IDLH for lindane. Therefore, the revised IDLH for lindane is 50 mg/m3 based on acute oral toxicity data in humans [Starr and Clifford 1972] and animals [Desi et al. 1978; Kenaga and Morgan 1978; Sun 1972; Woodard and Hagan 1947]. This may be a conservative value due to the lack of relevant acute inhalation toxicity data for workers.


1. CDC [1956]. Clinical memoranda on economic poisons. Atlanta, GA: Communicable Disease Center, Bureau of State Services, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service Publication No. 476, pp. 29-33.

2. Desi I, Varga L, Farkas I [1978]. Studies on the immunosuppressive effect of organochlorine and organophosphoric pesticides in subacute experiments. J Hyg Epi Microb Immunol 22(1):115-122.

3. Kenaga EE, Morgan RW [1978]. Commercial and experimental organic insecticides (1978 revision). Entomological Society of America Special Publication 78-1:1-11.

4. Negherbon WO [1959]. Handbook of toxicology. Vol. III. Insecticides, a compendium. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH: U.S. Air Force, Air Research and Development Command, Wright Air Development Center, Aero Medical Laboratory, WADC Technical Report 55-16, p. 437.

5. NIOSH [1976]. GV49000. Cyclohexane, 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexachloro-, gamma-isomer. In: Registry of toxic effects of chemical substances, 1976 ed. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Center for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 76-191, p. 369.

6. Starr HG Jr, Clifford NJ [1972]. Acute lindane intoxication. Arch Environ Health 25:374-375

7. Sun Y-P [1972]. Correlation of toxicity of insecticides to the house fly and to the mouse. J Econ Entomol 65:632-635.

8. Truhaut R, Gak J-C, Graillot C [1974]. Recherches sur les modalités et les mécanismes d'action toxique des insecticides organochlorés. I. Étude comparative des effets de toxicité aiguë chez le hamster et chez le rat. J Eur Toxicol 7(3):159-166 (in French).

9. Woodard G, Hagan EC [1947]. Toxicological studies on the isomers and mixtures of isomers of benzene hexachloride. Fed Proc 6:386-388.