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


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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