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CAS number 8001-35-2 YesY
KEGG C15470 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Density 1.65 g/cm3
Melting point 65 to 90 °C (149 to 194 °F; 338 to 363 K)
Boiling point decomposition at 155 °C (311 °F; 428 K)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
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Infobox references

Toxaphene is an insecticide. It is a mixture of closely related substances. Toxaphene is a known persistent organic pollutant (POP) and banned globally by the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.


Toxaphene is a mixture of approximately 200 organic compounds, formed by the chlorination of camphene (C10H16) to an overall chlorine content of 67–69% by weight.[1][2] The bulk of the compounds (mostly chlorobornanes, chlorocamphenes, and other bicyclic chloroorganic compounds) found in toxaphene have chemical formulas ranging from C10H11Cl5 to C10H6Cl12, with a mean formula of C10H10Cl8.[3] The formula weights of these compounds range from 308 to 551 grams/mole; the theoretical mean formula has a value of 414 grams/mole. Toxaphene is usually seen as a yellow to amber waxy solid. It is volatile enough to be transported for long distances through the atmosphere.[4][5]

Health effects[edit]

When inhaled or ingested, sufficient quantities of toxaphene can damage the lungs, nervous system, and kidneys, and may cause death. It is classified as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen.


Toxaphene was used as an insecticide. In the U.S., it was chiefly used in the cotton and soybean growing areas in the southeastern region. It was used to treat mange in cattle in California in the 1970s, although there were reports of cattle deaths following spraying with toxaphene.[6]

In 1982, it was banned for most uses, and in 1990 it was banned for all uses in the United States.[7] It belongs to the so-called "dirty dozen", a list of very toxic substances, eleven of which were outlawed in May 2004 when the Stockholm Convention went into effect.[8]

Trade names[edit]

Trade names and synonyms include Chlorinated camphene, Octachlorocamphene, Camphochlor, Agricide Maggot Killer, Alltex, Allotox, Crestoxo, Compound 3956, Estonox, Fasco-Terpene, Geniphene, Hercules 3956, M5055, Melipax, Motox, Penphene, Phenacide, Phenatox, Strobane-T, Toxadust, Toxakil, Vertac 90%, Toxon 63, Attac, Anatox, Royal Brand Bean Tox 82, Cotton Tox MP82, Security Tox-Sol-6, Security Tox-MP cotton spray, Security Motox 63 cotton spray, Agro-Chem Brand Torbidan 28, and Dr Roger's TOXENE.[9]


  1. ^ Saleh, Mahmoud Abbas (1983). "Capillary gas chromatography-electron impact chemical ionization mass spectrometry of toxaphene". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 31 (4): 748. doi:10.1021/jf00118a017. 
  2. ^ Buntin, G.A. U.S. Patent 2,565,471, 1951.
  3. ^ Buser, Hans-Rudolf; et al. (2000). "Rapid anaerobic degradation of toxaphene in sewage sludge". Chemosphere 40 (9–11): 1213–1220. doi:10.1016/s0045-6535(99)00371-9. PMID 10739064. 
  4. ^ Shoeib, Mahiba; et al. (1999). "Airborne concentrations of toxaphene congeners at Point Petre (Ontario) using gas-chromatography-electron capture negative ion mass spectrometry (GC-ECNIMS)". Chemosphere 39 (5): 849–871. doi:10.1016/s0045-6535(99)00018-1. PMID 10448561. 
  5. ^ Rice, Clifford P.; et al. (1986). Environmental Science and Technology 20: 1109–1116. 
  6. ^ Chancellor, John; Oliver, Don (1979-02-22). "Possible Toxaphene Cattle Poisoning". NBC News. Vanderbilt Television News Archive. Retrieved on 2008-02-08.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Retrieved on 2009-03-05.
  9. ^ Retrieved on 2009-03-05.

External links[edit]