The diversity of naturally produced organohalogens

Chemosphere. 2003 Jul;52(2):289-97. doi: 10.1016/S0045-6535(03)00207-8.


More than 3800 organohalogen compounds, mainly containing chlorine or bromine but a few with iodine and fluorine, are produced by living organisms or are formed during natural abiogenic processes, such as volcanoes, forest fires, and other geothermal processes. The oceans are the single largest source of biogenic organohalogens, which are biosynthesized by myriad seaweeds, sponges, corals, tunicates, bacteria, and other marine life. Terrestrial plants, fungi, lichen, bacteria, insects, some higher animals, and even humans also account for a diverse collection of organohalogens.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Halogenated / analysis
  • Hydrocarbons, Halogenated / chemistry
  • Hydrocarbons, Halogenated / metabolism*
  • Marine Biology
  • Plants / chemistry
  • Water Microbiology


  • Hydrocarbons, Halogenated