EPA Designation Regulated
EPA Classification Organic Chemicals
EPA Levels 1,2 zero MCLG (mg/L)
0.002 MCLG (mg/L)
Alternative Names none
Sources Residue of banned termiticide
Chlordane is a persistent insecticide/termiticide that is likely carcinogenic to humans and has been banned in the U.S. since 1988.


Chlordane, a synthetic organic chemical, is a viscous liquid, colorless to amber, with a slight chlorine-like aromatic odor.


Chlordane was used in the past to kill a variety of insects. The only commercial use of chlordane products still permitted is for fire ant control in power transformers.

Health Effects

Some people who drink water containing chlordane well in excess of the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for many years could experience liver or nervous system problems; increased risk of cancer.

EPA Data Source: Chlordane

EPA Definitions:

1Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) - The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety and are non-enforceable public health goals.

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) - The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology and taking cost into consideration. MCLs are enforceable standards.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG) - The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.

(TT) Treatment Technique - A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) - The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.

2 Units are in milligrams per liter (mg/L) unless otherwise noted. Milligrams per liter are equivalent to parts per million.