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April 19, 1976

Insecticides and Blood Dyscrasias: Chlordane Exposure and Self-Limited Refractory Megaloblastic Anemia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Section of Hematology and Oncology, Upstate Medical Center of the State University of New York, Syracuse, and the Syracuse Veterans Administration Hospital (Dr Furie), and the Department of Medicine, Hematology Section, East Orange, NJ, and the New Jersey College of Medicine, Newark (Dr Trubowitz). Dr Furie is now with the Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston.

JAMA. 1976;235(16):1720-1722. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260420036026

INCREASING awareness of the potential harmful effects of household and industrial chemical exposure on healthy individuals has provided impetus to attempts to identify dangerous agents and minimize unprotected exposure of persons who come in contact with these agents. For these reasons, we report our case. The patient was a man in prior good health with well-documented exposure to a commonly used insecticide, chlordane, and with subsequent development of a severe refractory megaloblastic anemia. Protected from further exposure to chlordane, the patient had a spontaneous remission.

Report of a Case  A 56-year-old dentist was in excellent health until August 1973. During the interval March to May 1973, he exterminated termites that had infested the foundation of his office. Exposure to the insecticide chlordane was extensive and is documented in his own words:"The use of Chlorane 74 by Vigoro [active ingredients: technical chlordane 74%, petroleum hydrocarbons 21%; inert ingredients 5%—Swift Agricultural