β-hexachlorocyclohexane, β-HCH; formula: C6H6Cl6; CAS Registry Number: 319-85-7

Most persistent HCH-isomer with the highest potential for biomagnification

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

β-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 β-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.


Sampling area

Sampling period

1988 - 2019