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Year : 1997  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 120-122

Haematological effects of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) in mice - Results and possibilities

Cell Biology Unit, School of Studies in Zoology, Bikram University, Ujjain-456 010. (M.P.), India

Correspondence Address:
Shobha Shouche
Cell Biology Unit, School of Studies in Zoology, Bikram University, Ujjain-456 010. (M.P.)
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 9355698

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How to cite this article:
Shouche S, Rathore H S. Haematological effects of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) in mice - Results and possibilities. Indian J Med Sci 1997;51:120-2

How to cite this URL:
Shouche S, Rathore H S. Haematological effects of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) in mice - Results and possibilities. Indian J Med Sci [serial online] 1997 [cited 2016 May 27];51:120-2. Available from:

Hexachiorocyclohexane (HCH), previously wrongly called as BHC is a widely used chlorinated in­secticide in India. [1] Its haematolo­gical effects are controversial in human beings and inadequate in animals. [2],[3] It, therefore, appeared worth observing haematological effects of technical HCH following acute, intermediate and chronic exposures.

 ¤ Materials and Methods Top

Adult Swiss Albino mice (28 ± 2 gms) were used. Technical grade HCH (Hexidol of Rallis Ltd. with 6.5% gamma isomer) was mixed in sunflower oil (Sweekar of Marico Industries) and 0.5 ml oily suspension having 100 mg HCH per mouse was administered once either intraperitoneally or orally for acute exposure; controls re­ceived vehicle i.e., oil only. For intermediate and chronic exposure. 500 mg and 10 mg HCH was mixed per Kg mice food and fed to mice for 100 and 400 days respectively. In this case HCH was initially dis­solved in little absolute alcohol thoroughly mixed in food and al­cohol was allowed to evaporate into air. Alcoholwas also added and evaporated from the food of controls. Blood was draw directly by from the heart after 8±1 hours, 101 days and 401 days respectively following acute, intermediate and chronic exposures.

 ¤ Results Top

The results are presented in [Table 1] and for brevity value are expressed as percentage changes from the controls. HCH induced anaemia is evident in mice follow­ing all exposures.

 ¤ Discussion Top

Present findings strengthens earlier reports claiming HCH in­duced anaemia in birds, rats and mice. [4],[5],[6] None of the earlier studies included all three exposures. It becomes necessary to mention here that human health effects of technical HCH and its principal isomers i.e. alpha, beta and gama (lindane) are known [2],[3] but unfor­tunately right from beginning toxic effect on bone marrow was not mentioned, [7] which later on became an issue of debate because gamma HCH induced injury to bone mar­row and anaemia were reported by some scientists while others failed to observed this effect. [2],[3] Finally Environmental Protection Agency, US also denied [8] such effect. Nevertheless rare cases of aplastic anaemia among children sing gamma HCH against scabies were noticed. [9] Results of the pre­sent animal experiment warm that heavy use of HCH in India may cause similar health effects among general public as seen among occupationally exposed workers. [10] It is interesting to mention here that this report [10] confirmed cardiac effects of HCH which were also controversial in the beginning and this finding in turn was further supported by results of animal models i.e. in rabbit and mice. [11],[6]

 ¤ Summary Top

Adult male Swiss albino mice when exposed to a chlorinated in­secticide hexachlorocyclohexane (HGH or BHC) at 100 mg/mouse/ once oral and i. p. both for acute exposures and 500 ppm and 10 ppm in food for 100 and 400 days respectively for intermediate and chronic exposures. Haematologi­cal observations revealed HCH­induced anaemia.

 ¤ Acknowledgement Top

Authors thank UGC, New Delhi for giving TRF to Shobha Shouche and to Professor K. S. Rao for providing departmental facilities.

 ¤ References Top

1.Anon. Estimated demand of pesti­cide for 1991-912. Pesticide infor­mation service, 1991;16:15.  Back to cited text no. 1      
2.E.H.C. - 123 - Environmental Health Criteria No. 123 - Apha and Beta hexachlorocyclohexane. W.H.O. Publication, Geneva, 1991.  Back to cited text no. 2      
3.E.H.C. - 124 - Environmental Health Criteria, 124, Lindane W.H.O. Publication, Geneva, 1991.  Back to cited text no. 3      
4.Mandal A., Chakraborty S, Lahiri P. Haematological charges pro­duced by Lindane (gamma HCH) in six species of birds. Toxicology 1986;40:103-111.  Back to cited text no. 4      
5.Ali SS, Shakoori AR. Gamma BHC induced haematological and bio­chemical changes in blood of albino rats. Proc 8th Pak Cong Zool 1988; 61-76.  Back to cited text no. 5      
6.Shouche S, Rathore HS. Early changes changes in mice blood, serum enzymes, heart, lung and trachae following acute toxicity of Hexachlorocyclohexane HCH. Ind J Occupl Hlt 1995;38:64-73.  Back to cited text no. 6      
7.AMACP (American Medical Asso­ciation Committee on Pesticides). Toxic effects of technical Benzene hexachloride and its principal iso­mers (Report to the council on pharmacy and chemistry), JAMA 1951;147:571.  Back to cited text no. 7      
8.EPA (U.S. Environmental Protec­tion Agency). Health effect assess­ment for lindane. Cincinnati, Ohio. 1984, Report No. EPA/540/1-86/056.  Back to cited text no. 8      
9.Volans G. National Poison Unit Letter to International Programme no chemical safety cited in EHC-124, WHO Pubication, Geneva, pp. 123, 1991.  Back to cited text no. 9      
10.Nigam SK, Karnik AB, Chatto­padhyay P, Lakkad BC, Venkatesh K, Kashyap SK. Ciinical and Bio­chemical investigations to evolve early diagnosis in workers involved in the manufacture of Hexachloro­cyclohexane.Int Arch Occup & En­viron Hlt 1903;65:193-196.  Back to cited text no. 10      
11.Anand M, Gulati A, Gopal K, Khanna RN, Ray PK, Chandra SV. Hypertension and myocarditis in rabbits exposed to hexachlorocyclo­hexane and endosulfan. Vet Hum Toxicol 1990;32:521-523.  Back to cited text no. 11      


  [Table 1]

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