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A toxic, chlorinated hydrocarbon that occurs as white to brown crystals. Aldrin was first introduced as an insecticide in 1948. The former insecticide was primarily used for cockroaches, subterranean termites, and mothproofing. However, it irreversibly reacts with keratin and other proteins. Because of its toxicity, it is no longer manufactured or used in the US since 1987.

Synonyms and Related Terms

HHDN; Octalene [Hyman & Co.]; Compound 118; 1,2,3,4,10,10-hexachloro- 1,4,4a,5,8,8a-hexahydro-1,4:5,8-dimethanonaphthalene



Chemical structure


Other Properties

Very soluble in most organic solvents. Insoluble in water.

Composition C12H8Cl6
CAS 309-00-2
Melting Point 104
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 364.9
Boiling Point 145

Hazards and Safety

Extremely hazardous. Toxic by inhalation, skin absorption, or ingestion.

LD50=36-60 mg/kg. Suspected teratogen and carcinogen.

International Chemical Safety Card

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Nancy Odegaard, Alyce Sadongei, and associates, Old Poisons, New Problems, Altimira, Walnut Creek, CA, 2005
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, Comment: history of agriculture [Accessed March 26, 2002] for date of introduction
  • G.Caneva, M.P.Nugari, O.Salvadori, Biology in the Conservation of Works of Art, ICCROM, Rome, 1991
  • Stephen R. Edwards, Bruce M. Bell, Mary Elizabeth King, Pest Control in Museums: a Status Report 1980, Association of Sytematics Collections, Washington DC, 1980
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002 Comment: Interior use