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Endrin

Isodrin epoxide, Endrex, Hexadrin, Mendrin

SPRI Emission Reporting Threshold
1.00 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Air
0.0005 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Water
0.0005 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Waste Water
1.00 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Land
Disclaimer
This sheet is a generic summary, designed to give the reader a basic level of background information about the substance in question. Great care has been taken to represent as effectively and correctly as possible the broad range of (not necessarily consistent) information which is available from a variety of sources. The reader must accept therefore that this sheet has no legal status and cannot be relied upon in any legal proceedings. SEPA disclaims any responsibility or liability whatsoever for errors and omissions in this sheet.
What is it?
Under normal conditions, pure Endrin is white crystals which have no smell. It often contains impurities, in which case it is light brown in colour and has a faint chemical smell. Pure Endrin melts at 235 degrees celsius and will break down on further heating. It is not very soluble in water, but mixes well with organic (carbon-containing) solvents, fats and oils. Endrin evaporates fairly easily. Endrin is part of the "drin" group of pesticides and therefore has similar properties to other members of the group such as Dieldrin, Aldrin and Isodrin.
What is it used for?
Endrin was formerly widely used as an insecticide on crops such as cotton, sugarcane, rice, cereals and grain. It is also used in orchards to control small mammals, such as mice and voles, and to remove grasshoppers from recreational land. The use of Endrin has now been banned in the EU (including the UK) and in many other countries.
Where does it come from?
In countries where Endrin is still used as an insecticide, releases may occur during its manufacture, transport, storage and, most importantly, during its application. There are not thought to be any natural sources of Endrin to the environment.
How might it affect the environment?
Endrin is toxic to many types of wildlife, particularly aquatic organisms. Endrin has a high potential to accumulate in aquatic organisms. It binds strongly to soil particles and may persist in some soils for many years. In some situations, seepage to groundwaters can occur, but this is rare given its tendency to bind strongly to most types of soil and its relatively low solubility in water. Due to its ability to evaporate into the atmosphere and its stability in the environment, Endrin may be transported far from the point of its release. Endrin is classed as a "persistent organic pollutant" (POP). The effects of Endrin pollution cause concern at a global as well as local level.
How might exposure to it affect human health?
Endrin can enter the body either by inhalation of air containing endrin, ingestion of water or food containing endrin or by dermal contact with endrin. Inhalation of elevated levels of endrin can affect the central nervous system and lead to symptoms including headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea, vomiting and convulsions. Ingestion of endrin may cause effects similar to those for inhalation and in extreme cases may lead to death. Dermal contact with endrin can cause skin irritation. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has designated endrin as being not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans. However, exposure to endrin at normal background levels is unlikely to have any adverse effect on human health.
What steps are being taken to limit the potential impacts?
Endrin is a UK Red List pollutant highlighting the serious concerns about its potentially harmful impacts on the environment and human health. Releases of Endrin are controlled through the Food and Environmental Protection Act (FEPA 1985), the Control of Pesticides Regulations (COPR 1986) and the UK Pollution, Prevention and Control (PPC) Regulations. Endrin is not listed for authorised use in the UK Pesticide Safety Directorate. Its use is now banned in all of the EU. European Directives regulating levels of Endrin include that concerned with the marketing and use of certain dangerous chemicals (79/117/EEC) and that concerned with pollution of the aquatic environment (76/464/EEC). At an international level, Endrin is the subject of two proposed UN treaties, is banned under the UNECE POPs protocol and proposed for elimination under the UNEP POPs Convention. Endrin is also listed as a candidate substance under the OSPAR Convention which protects the marine environment of the north-east Atlantic Ocean.