What is Benzene hexachloride?
Benzene hexachloride is an isomer of hexachlorocyclohexane with a chemical formula C6H6Cl6. It is also known as Lindane or hexachlorane. Benzene hexachloride is a colorless solid with a slight musty odor. It is an organochlorine chemical and is widely used as an agricultural insecticide as well as a pharmaceutical treatment for scabies and lice. Some side effects of lindane are burning, stinging, or redness of the skin. In the year 1825, Faraday was the first person to originally synthesize this chemical. In the year 1942, a Dutch chemist Teunis van der Linden isolated Benzene hexachloride. He was the first one to describe γ-hexachlorocyclohexane in the year 1912. Its pesticidal action was discovered in 1942.
Preparation of Benzene hexachloride
- Chlorine combines with benzene, in the presence of sunlight and in the absence of oxygen as well as substitution catalysts, to form hexachlorocyclohexane.
- Lindane can be prepared from chlorine and benzene by photochlorination. The product obtained i.e benzene hexachloride comprises of isomers from which only the gamma-isomer is wanted. Gamma-isomer is got by treating the reaction mixture with acetic acid or methanol in which only the alpha and beta isomers dissolve easily.
Properties of Benzene hexachloride – C6H6Cl6
|Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass||290.814 g/mol|
|Density||1.89 at 66°F|
Benzene hexachloride structure – C6H6Cl6
The above image describes the Benzene hexachloride structure. C6H6Cl6 is the chemical formula of Benzene hexachloride. The Benzene hexachloride molecule is a gamma-isomer which is expected to be a human carcinogen. Benzene hexachloride has six carbon atoms, six hydrogen atoms, and six chlorine atoms.
Uses of Benzene hexachloride (C6H6Cl6)
- Benzene hexachloride is used as an insecticide on crops, in forestry, for seed treatment.
- It is used in the treatment of head and body lice.
- It is used in pharmaceuticals.
- It is used to treat scabies.
- It is used in shampoo.
Benzene hexachloride health risks
It is highly toxic but non-combustible. Lindane can cause irritation on contact. When swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin it may be fatal. Better to avoid skin contact. When inhaled the effects will be delayed. Fire produces irritation, toxic, and corrosive gases. This compound is a stimulant of the nervous system, which causes violent convulsions that are rapid in onset and lead to death or recovery within 24 hours of time.
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