1,3-Dichloropropene is a colorless liquid with a sweet smell. It exists as a mixture of the geometric isomers cis-1,3-dichloropropene and trans-1,3-dichloropropene. It dissolves in water and evaporates easily. It is used mainly in farming as a pesticide, specifically as a preplant fumigant and nematicide. It widely used in the US and other countries, but in the process of being phased out in the European Union.
A man who accidentally ingested DCP died with severe damage to his stomach and surrounding organs, but little else is known about the effects of ingesting these substances in humans. Animal studies have reported damage to the stomach lining, lung congestion, difficulty walking, and effects on the liver and kidneys from ingesting high levels of DCP.
A few workers who had skin contact with pesticides containing DCP developed blisters and an allergic reaction on their skin.
It is not known whether DCP can cause birth defects in humans. Pregnant rats that inhaled 1,3-dichloropropene gave birth to fewer pups or pups with lower body weight. This occurred at exposures high enough to be toxic to the mothers.
DCP is testable via blood and urine tests, although it is only detectable in the body for 1-2 after exposure. Exposure level estimates are possible with a blood sample.
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