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Lindane Symptom Summaries from Government Agencies

Symptoms of exposure to this compound include epileptic convulsions and  serious EEG disturbances [421].  Other symptoms include gastrointestinal disturbances, severe central nervous system involvement-cerebellar derangement,  muscle spasms, blindness from optic nerve atrophy and diminuation of vision  [058].  Effects of acute overexposure may be central nervous system stimulation, dyspnea, headache, nausea and irritation of the respiratory tract.  Effects of chronic overexposure may include irreversible renal changes, conjunctivitis, ecchymosis, staggering, fever, vomiting, mental confusion, pulmonary edema, dilation of the heart, extensive necrosis of blood vessels in the lungs, liver and kidney, fatty degeneration of the liver and kidneys and some cases of hypoplastic anemia.  It can cause malaise, faintness, dizziness followed by collapse and convulsions sometimes preceded by screaming and accompanied by foaming at the mouth and biting of the tongue, unconsciousness, retrograde amnesia, moderate rise in temperature, facial pallor, slight circum-oral cyanosis, severe cyanosis of the face and extremities, slightly enlarged liver, depression and death from ingestion [173].  Animal symptoms that have been observed are increased respiration, restlessness accompanied by frequency of micturition, intermittent muscular spasms of the whole body, salivation, grinding of the teeth and consequent bleeding from the mouth, backward movement with loss of balance and somersaulting, retraction of the head, convulsions, gasping and biting, collapse and death usually within a day. It can cause degenerative changes in the kidneys, pancreas, testes, nasal mucous membranes and liver (in extremely high doses).  It may also cause immunosupression [173]. It may cause respiratory failure [102].


[Osol, A. (ed.). Remington's Pharmaceutical Sciences. 16th ed. Easton, Pennsylvania: Mack Publishing Co., 1980. 1187]**PEER REVIEWED**

Deaths of humans (usually children) have been reported following ingestion of lindane. A single dose of 840 mg/kg of body weight in adults and 180 mg/kg of body weight in children was lethal (11). An 18-h whole-body dermal application of 1% lindane lotion to a 2-month-old baby for the treatment of scabies resulted in death. γ-HCH concentrations of 110 and 33 g/kg were found in the brain and heart blood, respectively (13).

The most commonly reported effects associated with oral or occupational exposure to γ-HCH are neurophysiological and neuropsychological disorders and gastrointestinal disturbances. In an occupational study on the neurological effects of HCH, no pathological signs or sensibilities were recorded (14). Total HCH levels found in serum were 1072 g/litre.

In a study conducted in an Indian pesticide factory, serum levels in handlers directly exposed to HCH for 730 years were 1951152 g/litre, in non-handlers exposed to HCH in air and dust 83656 g/litre, and in the control group (employed in the factory but not in contact with HCH) 0370 g/litre. Most of the HCH in the serum was in the form of β-HCH (70%), followed by α-HCH and γ-HCH. The main effects seen were paraesthesia of the face and extremities (94% of handlers and 69% of non-handlers). Headache and giddiness occurred in over 70% of the handlers and in about 40% of the non-handlers, as compared with 7% of the control group (15).

The symptoms of convulsions do not become manifest until 0.5 to several hours. Carrier solvents used in commercial formulations may change physical and toxicological properties. The relation between odor and the exposure limit cannot be indicated. (ICSC)

Exposure occurs from inhalation, absorption through the skin, and ingestion. A 9.3% dermal absorption rate has been established, which is even higher on abraded skin. Fat and fat solvents also enhance the rate of absorption, especially in the gastrointestinal tract. (EPA)

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are chemical substances that persist in the environment, bioaccumulate through the food web, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment. With the evidence of long-range transport of these substances to regions where they have never been used or produced and the consequent threats they pose to the environment of the whole globe, the international community has now, at several occasions called for urgent global actions to reduce and eliminate releases of these chemicals.




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