An organochlorine insecticide, the gamma isomer of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH; or benzene hexachloride, BHC), widely used for treating aerial parts of plants, for seeds and the soil. Available alone or in combination with a wide range of other compounds. Least persistent compound in this group of chemicals.
For etiology, clinical features, lesions, treatment and investigations, see Organochlorines .

[toxic.gif] Toxicity
Oral doses in mg/kg or concentrations in mg/l..

LD50 rats 76-225
  guinea pigs 100-127
  rabbits 40-75
  cats 35
  dogs 30-200
  hens 70
  pheasants 75-100
  red-legged partridges 65-125
  common partridges 35-85
  ducks >2000
  adult cattle 10
  goats 10
  horses 15
  hens 20
TD calves 5
  adult cattle 20
  sheep 25-50
  goats 25-50
  hens 30-250
LD calves 5-15
  adult cattle 25
  goats 100
  chickens 120-570
LC50 (96h) fish 0.04-0.07


[case.gif] Case summaries
Eleven heifers and bullocks were contaminated by herbicide spraydrift arising from its application to an adjacent field. The animals were inadvertently trapped in a cloud of the chemical, with a very high risk of pulmonary exposure and absorption.
Between 30 and 45 minutes later, five animals presented with tremor, mainly of the head. By the time the veterinary surgeon arrived 90 minutes later, all the animals presented, to varying degrees, with tremor and muscle fasciculation. Three of the first animals to show symptoms were in decubitus, with paddling movements of the limbs. Symptomatic treatment using xylazine was instituted. Four hours later, three of the most affected animals died; the others responded to the treatment and quietened down. In the following 4 to 48 hours, the animals continued to be administered xylazine and cardiorespiratory analeptics. Another animal died 26 hours later.
Autopsies showed the following features.. generalized congestion, petechiae on the endocardium and pericardium. Samples of fat taken from the adrenals and the liver showed levels of lindane at 17 and 7.8 ppm (DM) respectively.