Used extensively to control termites and as a broad-spectrum insecticide on a range of agricultural crops, chlordane remains in the soil for a long time and has a reported half-life of one year.
The lethal effects of chlordane on fish and birds vary according to the species, but tests have shown that it can kill mallard ducks, bobwhite quail, and pink shrimp.
Chlordane may affect the human immune system and is classified as a possible human carcinogen. It is believed that human exposure occurs mainly through the air, and chlordane has been detected in the indoor air of residences in the U.S. and Japan.
Chlordane is either banned or severely restricted in dozens of countries.