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A small, marble-sized ball used in closets and storage areas to repel clothes moths. Mothballs were originally made from Camphor which was superseded with Naphthalene. Due to its high human toxicity, naphthalene has been replaced with chlorinated compounds such as Paradichlorobenzene.

Synonyms and Related Terms

camphor; naphthalene; naphthalene; paradichlorobenzene; mottenbal (Ned.)

Resources and Citations

  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 6457
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998