α-Hexachlorcyclohexane, α-HCH; formula: C6H6Cl6; CAS Registry Number: 319-84-6
Structure of α-HCH
Source: Wikipedia

The main constituent of technical HCH

α-HCH has no insecticidal properties. In the past α-HCH residues from Lindane production were often disposed on dumping grounds where they persist for long times.

α-HCH is lipophilic and adheres to soil particles. During rain and run-off and it may enter ground- and surface waters. In the atmosphere it may be transported over long distances adsorbed to dust particles.

Environmentally relevant characteristics of α-HCH include:

Since 1977 the use of technical HCH is banned in the Federal Republic of Germany. In the German Democratic Republic, however, it was still produced and applied until 1990. The main production site was the industrial area around Bitterfeld in Saxony-Anhalt.
Technical HCH was banned in the EU in 1991.


Bream Bioindicator in rivers and lakes
Suspended particulate matter Fine insoluble mineral or organic particles in the water phase
Roe deer, one-year-old The roe deer is the most common of the larger herbivores (first order-consumer) to be found in the wild in Europe.
Soil Soil is livelihood and biosphere for humans, animals, plants and soil organisms. All the substances brought in are transported, transformed and/or accumulated in the soil.

Sampling area

BR/NP Berchtesgaden The only high mountains national park in Germany and an area of the Limestone Alps with international relevance
Saarländischer Verdichtungsraum Important, old-industrialised conurbation in Germany.
Bornhöveder Seengebiet Main water divide between the North- and Baltic Sea
Rhein Longest river in Germany
NP Bayerischer Wald Germany's first national park
Elbe Fourth largest river basin in Central Europe
Verdichtungsraum Halle-Leipzig Region in the chemical triangle of Central Germany
NP Harz Germany's largest forest national park
Solling Second highest and largest low mountain range in Northern Germany
BR Pfälzerwald Germany's largest connected forest area in a range of low mountains
Oberbayerisches Tertiärhügelland The Upper Bavarian Tertiary Uplands are a part of the Southern German Molasse Basin
Donau Second largest river in Europe

Sampling period

1989 - 2018