Occupational exposure to hexachlorocyclohexane. VI. Metabolism of gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane in man

Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 1983;52(1):59-67. doi: 10.1007/BF00380608.


Metabolism of gamma-Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) was studied examining 21 workers producing this insecticide. Using gas chromatography in combination with ECD and mass spectrometry 14 mono-, di-, tri- and tetrachlorophenols were identified in the urine samples of the workers. Seven dihydroxychlorobenzenes of still unknown configuration were detected by mass spectrometry. Ten of the more abundant metabolites, di-, tri- and tetrachlorophenols were determined quantitatively in all urine samples. 2,4,6-; 2,3,5- and 2,4,5-trichlorophenol turned out to be the main metabolites of gamma-HCH. They were excreted in nearly equal quantities. On account of their potential liver toxicity, the determination of chlorophenols in urine should be part of a biological monitoring program of HCH-exposed persons.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chlorophenols / urine
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane / metabolism*
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane / toxicity
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Chlorophenols
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane