Lindane Education And Research Network
Home Alert News Archive Resources Contact Donate Search

"The future will depend on our wisdom not to replace one poison with another."
National Pediculosis Association®, Inc.

Lindane and Cancer


Cancer Hazard * Lindane may be a CARCINOGEN in humans since it has been shown to cause liver, lung, endocrine glands and other types of cancer in animals. * There is limited evidence that Lindane is associated with leukemia in humans. * Many scientists believe there is no safe level of exposure to a carcinogen. Such substances may also have the potential for causing reproductive damage in humans. 1988


A relationship between the use of high levels of pesticides 20 years ago and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has been suggested in a National Cancer Institute study. DDT, carbofuran, and chloraben use were positively associated with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma while atrazine, cyanizine, glyphosate, lindane, and nicotine were associated with the development of small cell lymphocytic lymphoma. (American Journal of Epidemiology 122(3)535, 1985)

IU Research Links Dieting Habits With Risk For Estrogen-Responsive Cancers

This study demonstrated that when beta-HCH, a compound in lindane, is released from fat it has a larger effect on the uterine tissue than did DDT-- a now-banned insecticide-- but DDT did have some estrogenic effect on uterine tissue.

Beta-HCH is less fat soluble and therefore more water soluble than DDT so it can get into the blood and travel to the breast, uterus and liver.

In a December 1996 study in Cancer Research, Dr. Bigsby and his colleagues showed that beta-HCH and DDT stimulated the growth of breast tumor tissue that was grafted into mice. Since the epithelial cells of the breast are surrounded by fat cells the effect of a diet-induced loss of fat may be of special concern with regard to the release of these xenoestrogens.

Evidence for Carcinogenicity

Classification of carcinogenicity: 1) evidence in humans: inadequate; Overall summary evaluation of carcinogenic risk to humans is Group 2B: The agent is possibly carcinogenic to humans. /From table/ /Hexachlorocyclohexanes/
[IARC. Monographs on the Evaluation of the Carcinogenic Risk of Chemicals to Man. Geneva: World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer,1972-PRESENT. (Multivolume work).,p. S7 64 (1987)]**PEER REVIEWED**

CLASSIFICATION: B2; probable human carcinogen. BASIS FOR CLASSIFICATION: Assays in four strains of mice have yielded positive carcinogenicity results for t-HCH administered in diet. HUMAN CARCINOGENICITY DATA: Inadequate.
[U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) on technical Hexachlorocyclohexane (t-HCH) (608-73-1) Available from: on the Substance File List as of March 15, 2000]**PEER REVIEWED**


Hexacyclohexanes are possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B).

Group 2B: The agent (mixture) is possibly carcinogenic to humans.
The exposure circumstance entails exposures that are possibly carcinogenic to humans.

This category is used for agents, mixtures and exposure circumstances for which there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and less than sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. It may also be used when there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans but there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. In some instances, an agent, mixture or exposure circumstance for which there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans but limited evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals together with supporting evidence from other relevant data may be placed in this group. Supplement 7: (1987) (p. 220)

Carcinogenicity  rating on chemicals




Lindane Education And Research Network is a project of the National Pediculosis Association® (NPA)
The NPA, a non-profit tax exempt, 501(c)3, organization, receives no government or industry funding
and provides this website with proceeds from our educational resources and the LiceMeister® Comb.
Please read our disclaimer and privacy policy. Report any problems with this site to the webmaster.