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Bulgaria - Final Regulatory Action
Hexachlorobenzene CAS number:
Date circular:

Chemical name: Benzene, hexachloro-

Final regulatory action has been taken for the category: Pesticide

Final regulatory action: The chemical is Banned

Use or uses prohibited by the final regulatory action:

All formulations and uses are prohibited.

Pesticide use or uses that remain allowed:


The final regulatory action was based on a risk or hazard evaluation: No

Summary of the final regulatory action:

It is prohibited to production, use and place on the market all plant protection products containing HCB according to annual adopted list of active ingredients banned for use in plant protection products under the lant Protection Act, as well as in compliance with art.3, par.1 (a) of the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants. HCB is designated as a PIC chemical. (Annex I of the Regulation on the import and export of certain dangerous chemicals on the Bulgarian territory). The chemical is listed in Annex II of this Regulation as prohibited for export from and import into the country.

The reasons for the final regulatory action were relevant to: Human health and environment

Summary of known hazards and risks to human health:

HCB is harmful by dust inhalation or if swallowed. Occupational exposure to HCB and dietary intake of contaminated food or water are the chief circumstances where intoxication occurs. HCB may cause a slight irritation to eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Inhalation results in irritation of the respiratory tract. The central nervous system toxicity is low. Ingestion of large amounts of HCB may cause headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, numbness of hands and arms, apprehension, partial paralysis of extremities, coma and seizures. Prolonged periods of ingestion may cause porphyria cutanea tarda, where blistering and epidermolysis of the unusually light-sensitive skin occurs. Pigmented scars, contractures, alopecia, hirsutism, arthritis, osteomyelitis, anorexia, weight loss and muscle atrophy can be features of the syndrome. Hepatomegaly and thyroid enlargement have been observed. The mortality can be as high as 10%. Long-term sequelae are hyperpigmentation, hirsutism, scarring of hands and face, fragile skin, enlarged liver and persistent active porphyria. Infants may develop the syndrome of "pink sore" when exposed to HCB-contaminated breast milk and transplacental transfer. It carries a high mortality (95%). Diarrhoea, fever, papules on the back of hands, infiltration of the lungs, subcutaneous abscesses, severe hypochromic anaemia and leukocytosis occur.

Expected effect of the final regulatory action in relation to human health:

To avoid exposure of HCB to the workers and consumers.

Summary of known hazards and risks to the environment:

HCB is released to the environment as a by-product from the manufacture of chlorinated solvents, chlorinated aromatics and pesticides, and in emissions from incinerators and other industrial processes. It is subject to long-range transport and thus may be deposited far from known sources. Therefore, HCB can be found worldwide in measurable concentrations in various media to which humans and other organisms may be exposed.
HCB is a persistent substance widely dispersed throughout the environment. It accumulates in aquatic sediments and is subject to biomagnification. This suggests that benthic biota and those of higher tropic levels (e.g., predatory birds and fish-eating mammals) are the most likely to be exposed to higher concentrations of HCB and to be at greater risk from adverse effects on reproduction and development and cancer.

Expected effect of the final regulatory action in relation to the environment:

To avoid exposure of HCB to the environment.

Date of entry into force of the final regulatory action: 01/01/2004