chemical information


Chemical Class:

Organochlorine Pesticide (OC)

Found in these people:

Lexi Rome, Andrea Martin, Davis Baltz, Michael Lerner, Sharyle Patton, Charlotte Brody, Baby #3, Baby #7, Baby #9, Baby #6, Baby #5, Baby #10, Baby #2, Baby #1, Monique Harden, Lucy Waletsky, Baby #4, Baby #8, Kathy Fowler, Anonymous Adult 1, U.S. Representative Louise Slaughter, Sara Corbett

Found in these locations:

Mill Valley, CA; Sausalito, CA; Berkeley, CA; Bolinas, CA; Round Hill, VA; New Orleans, LA; Pleasantville, NY; Rockville, MD; Upstate New York, NY; NY, USA


In laboratory animals, beta-BHC causes decreased body weight; liver toxicity (increased liver weight, increased triglycerides, increased phospholipids, increased cholesterol; decreased liver vitamin A, altered enzyme levels, cellular effects, increased mitosis); kidney/renal toxicity (increased kidney weight, cellular effects); hematological effects (decreased red blood cells, white blood cells and hemoglobin); neurotoxicity (loss of muscle coordination, decreased nerve conduction and coma); immunological effects (decreased lympho-proliferative response to T-cell mitogens, decreased natural killer cytolytic activity, cortical atrophy of thymus) and increased ovarian weight. Developmental effects include pup mortality (ATSDR 1994c).


Organochlorine chemical, a class largely banned in the U.S. that builds up in the body over time, linked to cancer and reproductive harm.

beta-BHC has been found in 26 of the 27 people tested in EWG/Commonweal studies.

Top health concerns for beta-BHC (References)

health concern or target organ weight of evidence
Reproduction and fertilityunknown

Results for beta-BHC

in blood serum (lipid weight)

Showing results from EWG/Commonweal Study #1, industrial chemicals and pesticides in adults, EWG/Commonweal Study #4, industrial chemicals and pesticides in cord blood, San Francisco Reporter, EWG Study #8, chemicals in mother and 2 children, EWG Study #3, industrial chemicals and pesticides in adults

EWG/Commonweal results

  • geometric mean: 0.607 ng/g (lipid weight) in blood serum
  • found in 26 of 27 people in the group
ng/g (lipid weight) in blood serum 37.1

beta-BHC results

Detailed toxicity classifications (References)

classification governing entity/references
Reproductive effects - weight of evidence unknown/unassessedDamgaard, I. N., N. E. Skakkebaek, et al. (2006). Persistent pesticides in human breast milk and cryptorchidism. Environ Health Perspect 114(7): 1133-8.