Aldrin

Synonyms and Trade Names (partial list): Aldrec, Aldrex, Aldrex 30, Aldrite, Aldrosol, Altox, Compound 118, Drinox, Octalene, Seedrin
Appearance: White, odourless crystals when pure; technical grades are tan to dark brown with a mild chemical odour.

Overview

Aldrin is a pesticide used to control soil insects such as termites, corn rootworm, wireworms, rice water weevil, and grasshoppers. It has been widely used to protect crops such as corn and potatoes, and has been effective to protect wooden structures from termites.

Aldrin is readily metabolized to dieldrin by both plants and animals. As a result, Aldrin residues are rarely found in foods and animals, and then only in small amounts. It binds strongly to soil particles and is very resistant to leaching into groundwater. Volatilization is an important mechanism of loss from soils. Due to its persistent nature and hydrophobicity, Aldrin is known to bioconcentrate, mainly as its conversion products.

Aldrin is banned in many countries, including Bulgaria, Ecuador, Finland, Hungary, Israel, Singapore, Switzerland, and Turkey. Its use is severely restricted in many countries, including Argentina, Austria, Canada, Chile, the EU, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, USA, and Venezuela.

Use in South East Asia

 

Used or Found in Country?

Years of Usage

Regulatory Controls

Cambodia

   

Banned in 1992

Lao PDR

   

Banned in 1992

Malaysia

Yes

1980-1994

Banned in 1994

Thailand

Yes

1955

Banned in 1988

Indonesia

   

Never registered for use

Philippines

   

Banned in 1989

Viet Nam

   

Banned in 1992

(table references)

Effects on Humans

Aldrin is toxic to humans; the lethal dose of Aldrin for an adult man has been estimated to be about 5g, equivalent to 83 mg/kg body weight. Signs and symptoms of Aldrin intoxication may include headache, dizziness, nausea, general malaise and vomiting, followed by muscle twitching, myoclonic jerks, and convulsions. Occupational exposure to Aldrin, in conjunction with Dieldrin and Endrin, was associated with a significant increase in liver and biliary cancer, although the study did have some limitations, including a lack of quantitative exposure information. There is limited information that cyclodienes, such as Aldrin, may affect immune responses.

The acute oral LD50 dose for Aldrin in laboratory animals is in the range of 33 mg/kg body weight for guinea pigs to 320 mg/kg body weight for hamsters. Reproductive effects in rats were observed when pregnant females were dosed with 1.0 mg/kg Aldrin subcutaneously. Offspring experienced a decrease in the median effective time for incisor teeth eruption and an increase in the median effective time for testes descent. There is, as yet, no evidence of a teratogenic potential for Aldrin. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that there is inadequate evidence for the carcinogenicity of Aldrin in humans, and there is only limited evidence in experimental animals. Aldrin is therefore not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity in humans (IARC, Group 3).

The average daily human intake of Aldrin and Dieldrin was calculated to be 19µg/person in India, and 0.55 µg/person in Vietnam. Dairy products, such as milk and butter, and animal meats are the primary sources of exposure.

Effects on Plants and Animals

Aldrin has low phytotoxicity with plants affected only by extremely high application rates. The toxicity of Aldrin to aquatic organisms is quite variable, with aquatic insects being the most sensitive group of invertebrates. The 96-h LC50 dose values range from 1-200 µg/L for insects, and from 2.2-53 µg/L for fish. Long term and bioconcentration studies are performed primarily using Dieldrin, the primary conversion product of Aldrin. In a model ecosystem study, only 0.5% of the original radioactive Aldrin was stored as Aldrin in the mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis), the organism at the top of the model food chain.

The acute toxicity of Aldrin to avian species varies in the range of 6.6 mg/kg for bobwhite quail to 520 mg/kg for mallard ducks. Aldrin treated rice is thought to have been the cause of deaths in waterfowl, shorebirds and passerines along the Texas Gulf Coast, both by direct poisoning by ingestion of Aldrin treated rice and indirectly by consuming organisms contaminated with Aldrin. Residues of Aldrin were detected in all samples of bird casualties, eggs, scavengers, predators, fish, frogs, invertebrates and soil.

As Aldrin is readily and rapidly converted to Dieldrin in the environment its fate is closely linked to that of Dieldrin. Aldrin is readily metabolised to dieldrin in both animals and plants, and therefore Aldrin residues are rarely present in animals and then only in very small amounts. Residues of Aldrin have been detected in fish in Egypt, the average concentration was 8.8 µg/kg, and a maximum concentration of 54.27 µg/kg.

Further information:


 

References:

Adapted from Persistent Organic Pollutants: Information on POPs, their alternatives and alternative approaches (United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) 1995).

Aldrin Container
Source: FAO
Hatfield Consultants The World Bank funded by the Canadian POPs Trust Fund through the      
Canadian International Development Agency
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