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

CAS number: 57–74–9

NIOSH REL: 0.5 mg/m3 TWA [skin]; NIOSH considers chlordane to be a potential occupational carcinogen as defined by the OSHA carcinogen policy [29 CFR 1990].

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: Amber-colored, viscous liquid with a pungent, chlorine-like odor.

LEL: . . Noncombustible Liquid

Original (SCP) IDLH: 500 mg/m3

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: No useful data on acute inhalation toxicity are available on which to base the IDLH for chlordane. For this draft technical standard, therefore, the chosen IDLH has been estimated from the fatal oral dose to an adult of 6 to 60 grams reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources [1969].

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed


Lethal dose data:

Species Reference Route LD50(mg/kg) LDLo(mg/kg) Adjusted LD Derived value






AAPCO 1966Ambrose et al. 1953

Ambrose et al. 1953

Ambrose et al. 1953

PCRB 1966

Truhaut et al. 1974

von Schwabe and Wendling




















700 mg/m34,130 mg/m3

3,010 mg/m3

2,100 mg/m3

1,015 mg/m3

12,040 mg/m3

1,400 mg/m3

70 mg/m3413 mg/m3

301 mg/m3

210 mg/m3

102 mg/m3

1,204 mg/m3

140 mg/m3


Human data: The fatal oral dose has been estimated to be about 6 grams [Derbes et al. 1955] or to range from 6 to 60 grams [Pennsylvania 1969]. [Note: An oral dose of 6 grams is equivalent to a worker being exposed to about 4,000 mg/m3 for 30 minutes, assuming a breathing rate of 50 liters per minute and 100% absorption.]

Revised IDLH: 100 mg/m3Basis for revised IDLH: No inhalation toxicity data are available on which to base an IDLH for chlordane. Therefore, the revised IDLH for chlordane is 100 mg/m3 based on acute oral toxicity data in humans [Derbes et al. 1955; Pennsylvania 1969] and animals [AAPCO 1966; PCRB 1966; von Schwabe and Wendling 1967]. [Note: NIOSH recommends as part of its carcinogen policy that the “most protective” respirators be worn for chlordane at concentrations above 0.5 mg/m3.]



1. AAPCO [1966]. Pesticide chemicals official compendium. Topeka, KS: Association of American Pesticide Control Officials, Inc., p. 226.

2. Ambrose AM, Christensen HE, Robbins DJ, Rather LJ [1953]. Toxicological and pharmacological studies on chlordane. AMA Arch Ind Hyg Occup Med 7:197-210.

3. Derbes VJ, Dent JH, Forrest WW, Johnson MF [1955]. Fatal chlordane poisoning. JAMA 158:1367-1369.

4. PCRB [1966]. Informative memo no. 20. Beltsville, MD: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Entomology Research Division, Pesticide Chemicals Research Branch, p. 19.

5. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources [1969]. Hygienic information guide no. 70: chlordane. Harrisburg, PA: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Occupational Health H722.115P Rev. 1-69.

6. 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 Hyg 7:159-166 (in French).

7. von Schwabe U, Wendling I [1967]. Beschleunigung des arzneimittel-abbaus durch kleine dosen von DDT und anderen chlorkoblenwasserstoff-insekticiden. Arzneimittel-Forschung (Drug Research) 17:614-618 (in German).