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    IPCS INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME ON CHEMICAL SAFETY
    Health and Safety Guide No. 2

    KELEVAN
    HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDE






    UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME

    INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION

    WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION




    WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, GENEVA 1987

    This is a companion volume to Environmental Health Criteria 66:
    Kelevan

    Published by the World Health Organization for the International
    Programme on Chemical Safety (a collaborative programme of the United
    Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organisation,
    and the World Health Organization)

    This report contains the collective views of an international group of
    experts and does not necessarily represent the decisions or the stated
    policy of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International
    Labour Organisation, or the World Health Organization

         ISBN 924154366 3
         ISSN 0259-7268

    The World Health Organization welcomes requests for permission to
    reproduce or translate its publications, in part or in full. 
    Applications and enquiries should be addressed to the Office of
    Publications, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, which
    will be glad to provide the latest information on any changes made to
    the text, plans for new editions, and reprints and translations
    already available.

    (c) World Health Organization 1987

    Publications of the World Health Organization enjoy copyright
    protection in accordance with the provisions of Protocol 2 of the
    Universal Copyright Convention.  All rights reserved.

    The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this
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    the part of the Secretariat of the World Health Organization
    concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or
    of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or
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    The mention of specific companies or of certain manufacturers'
    products does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by the
    World Health Organization in preference to others of a similar nature
    that are not mentioned.  Errors and omissions excepted, the names of
    proprietary products are distinguished by initial capital letters.

    CONTENTS

    IPCS

    HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDE FOR KELEVAN

    INTRODUCTION

    HOW TO USE THE GUIDE

    1. PRODUCT IDENTITY AND USES
         1.1. Identity
         1.2. Physical and chemical properties
         1.3. Composition
         1.4. Uses

    2. SUMMARY AND EVALUATION
         2.1. Transport and distribution
         2.2. Effects on the environment
         2.3. Effects on animals and microorganisms
         2.4. Effects on human beings

    3. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    4. HEALTH HAZARDS FOR MAN, PREVENTION AND PROTECTION, EMERGENCY
         ACTION
         4.1. Safe handling

    5. HAZARDS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND THEIR PREVENTION
    

    INTRODUCTION

    The International Programme on Chemical Safety is responsible for the
    publication of a series of Environmental Health Criteria documents,
    each of which assesses the existing information on the relationship
    between exposure to a specific chemical, mixture of chemicals, or
    combination of chemicals and physical and biological agents, and man's
    health and the integrity of the environment. The documents provide
    guidelines for setting exposure limits consistent with the protection
    of human health and the environment.

    To facilitate the application of these guidelines in national chemical
    safety programmes, "Health and Safety Guides" are being prepared,
    highlighting the information contained in the documents for those who
    need to know the health and environmental issues involved, but not the
    scientific details. The Guides include advice on preventive and
    protective measures and emergency action.

    Review and revision of the information in this Health and Safety Guide
    will take place in due course, and the eventual aim is to use
    standardized terminology. We should be grateful if you would help by
    telling us of any difficulties encountered in using the information in
    this guide.

    Comments please, addressed to:

    The Manager
    International Programme on Chemical Safety
    Division of Environmental Health
    World Health Organization
    1211 Geneva 27
    Switzerland

    HOW TO USE THE GUIDE

    All people in the work-place environment should be given the relevant
    written information in this book, supplemented by a clear, personal
    explanation to ensure that they are fully aware of the dangers and the
    current courses of protective and emergency action.

                                     * * *

    Further copies of the Health and Safety Guide and, for those requiring
    more detailed scientific information, the relevant Environmental
    Health Criteria publication, are available to order.

    THE INFORMATION IN THIS GUIDE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS A STARTING POINT
    TO A COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAMME

    1.  PRODUCT IDENTITY AND USES

    1.1  Identity

    Molecular formula:       C17H12Cl10O4

    Chemical structure:

                             FIGURE 1

    Trade names:             Despirol, Elevat,
                             GC-9160, General
                             Chemicals 9160

    CAS chemical name:       ethyl 1, la, 3, 3a, 4, 5, 5a, 5b, 6
                             decachlorooctahydro-alpha-2-hydroxy
                             gamma-oxo-1, 3, 4-metheno-I  H-cyclabuta
                             [ cd] pentalene -2-pentanoate (9 CI)

    CAS registry number:     4234-79-1

    1.2  Physical and Chemical Properties

    Kelevan is a white powder. Technical grade kelevan is a brownish
    substance. It is slightly soluble in water and readily soluble in most
    organic solvents. Some physical and chemical properties of kelevan are
    given in the table.

    Some physical and chemical properties of kelevan

                                                                    

    Physical state                solid, powder

    Colour                        white

    Relative molecular mass       634.79

    Melting point                 91C

    Vapour pressure (20C)        < 0.0014 Pa (= < 10-2 mm Hg)

    Solubility in water (20C)    5.5 mg/litre
    (readily soluble in most
    organic solvents)

    Decomposition                 > 170C
                                                                    

    From: Maier-Bode (1976).

    1.3  Composition

    Technical grade kelevan contains 94-98% pure kelevan, 0.1-2%
    chlordecone, and 0.5-4.0% inorganic salts.

    1.4  Uses

    The compound has mainly been used, as a dust or wettable powder, to
    control the potato beetle and some other pests on bananas, beets, and
    corn. Reference has been made to the use of kelevan in South America
    and in central and southeastern Europe. Responses received from 49
    countries throughout the world indicated that kelevan had never been
    registered for use, or used, in 33 of them. In Spain, registration
    expired in 1975. In the Federal Republic of Germany, the use of
    kelevan has been forbidden since 1982. In Hungary and the USSR, it is
    still registered, but no longer used.

    2.  SUMMARY AND EVALUATION

    2.1  Transport and Distribution

    Kelevan is a derivative of chlordecone and can be oxidized to
    chlordecone.

    While kelevan is fairly rapidly degraded in the soil, chlordecone
    persists for several years. There is very little leaching of kelevan
    and its break-down products from the upper 10 cm of soil into lower
    layers and into drainage water. Crops, especially carrots, grown on
    treated fields contained very low levels of kelevan or its break-down
    products, including chlordecone.

    2.2  Effects on the Environment

    No effects on the environment have been reported during the use of
    kelevan, and it has been shown experimentally not to be highly toxic
    for bees, hens, rainbow trout, or soil microflora with short-term
    exposures.

    2.3  Effects on Animals and Microorganisms

    In experimental animals, kelevan is absorbed following ingestion,
    inhalation, and via the skin, and accumulates in the liver, brain, and
    adipose tissue.

    It is moderately toxic for the rat. Symptoms of poisoning include
    apathy, tremors, central nervous system hyper-sensitivity, and
    tonic-clonic convulsions. When administered orally to rats for a
    number of months, necrosis of the liver and kidneys was seen.

    No abnormalities were found in reproduction studies on mice, when low
    doses were given. Teratogenic effects have not been adequately
    evaluated.

    Kelevan was not mutagenic in systems using microorganisms. No
    carcinogenicity studies are available for kelevan, but studies on rats
    and mice have shown sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity for
    chlordecone, which is a major break-down product of kelevan.

    2.4  Effects on Human Beings

    No data are available concerning levels of exposure to kelevan for the
    general population or in the work-place.

    No adverse health effects on human beings have been reported from
    exposure to kelevan.

    3.  CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    In view of the sparsity of available data, it is quite impossible, at
    this stage, to arrive at an informed evaluation of kelevan with regard
    to both its danger for workers and the possible consumer hazards from
    food residues.

    Therefore, since kelevan is converted to chlordecone in the mammalian
    body and in the environment, and the toxicity data available are
    similar to those for chlordecone, the evaluation of chlordecone should
    largely apply to kelevan, which, in practice, means that, unless
    kelevan is indispensable, it should not be used.

    From: Environmental Health Criteria 66: Kelevan

    4.  HEALTH HAZARDS FOR MAN, PREVENTION AND PROTECTION, EMERGENCY
        ACTION

    4.1  Safe Handling

    In view of the conclusions, neither safe handling advice nor an
    International Chemical Safety Card have been prepared.

    5.  HAZARDS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND THEIR PREVENTION

    The available data are too few to make an informed assessment of the
    likely impact of kelevan on the environment, especially on a long-term
    basis.
    


    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Kelevan (EHC 66, 1986)