International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Summaries & Evaluations


VOL.: 20 (1979) (p. 67)

CAS No.: 143-50-0
Chem. Abstr. Name: 1,1a,3,3a,4,5,5,5a,5b,6-Decachlorooctahydro-1,3,4-metheno-2H-

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Experimental data

Chlordecone was tested in one experiment in mice and in two in rats by oral administration: it produced hepatocellular carcinomas in males and females of both species.

Chlordecone impairs fertility and is foetotoxic.

5.2 Human data

No case reports or epidemiological studies were available to the Working Group.

The extensive production and the widespread use of chlordecone and its persistence in the environment (where it may also occur as a result of degradation of the pesticide mirex) indicate that human exposure occurs. This is confirmed by many reports of its occurrence in human body fluids. A group of highly exposed workers is known to exist. Oligospermia with hypomobility of the sperm has been reported in heavily exposed workers.

5.3 Evaluation

There is sufficient evidence that chlordecone is carcinogenic in mice and rats. In the absence of adequate data in humans, it is reasonable, for practical purposes, to regard chlordecone as if it presented a carcinogenic risk to humans.

Subsequent evaluation: Suppl. 7 (1987) (p. 59: Group 2B)

For definition of the terms, see Preamble Evaluation.


Last updated: 31 March 1998

    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Chlordecone (EHC 43, 1984)
       Chlordecone (HSG 41, 1990)
       Chlordecone (ICSC)