chemical information


Chemical Class:

Organochlorine Pesticide (OC)

Manufacturing/Use Status

banned for use/manufacture in the U.S.

Found in these people:

Baby #3, Baby #5, Baby #6, Baby #7, Lexi Rome, Baby #9, Baby #4, Baby #1, Baby #10, Baby #2, Baby #8, Kathy Fowler, Anonymous Adult 1, U.S. Representative Louise Slaughter, Sara Corbett

Found in these locations:

Mill Valley, CA; Rockville, MD; Upstate New York, NY; NY, USA


In laboratory animals, mirex causes liver toxicity (impaired biliary function, increase liver weight, cellular effects, increased lipid accumulation, decreased liver glycogen, altered liver enzymes); increased cholesterol and triglycerides; hematological effects (hypoglycemia); neurotoxicity (hyperexcitability, tremors, convulsions, lethargy); increased adrenal weight; increased corticosterone; decreased spleen weight; thyroid toxicity (cellular changes, decreased thyroid hormones); reproductive toxicity (decreased ovarian and uterine weight, decreased fertility). Developmental toxicity includes fetal death, decreased birth weight; undescended testicles; changes in brain structure; delayed bone development; cataracts; irregular heart beat and cardiac malformations (ATSDR 1995b).

Very little is known about mirex toxicity in humans (ATSDR 1995b).


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

Mirex has been found in 19 of the 27 people tested in EWG/Commonweal studies. It has also been found in 700 of the 4,821 people tested in CDC biomonitoring studies.

Top health concerns for Mirex (References)

health concern or target organ weight of evidence
Reproduction and fertilityunknown

Results for Mirex

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: 0.228 ng/g (lipid weight) in blood serum
  • found in 19 of 27 people in the group

CDC biomonitoring results

  • geometric mean: 4.16 ng/g (lipid weight) in blood serum
  • found in 700 of 4821 people in the group
ng/g (lipid weight) in blood serum 2960

Mirex 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.