1,3-Dichloropropene (Telone®),
1,3-Dichloropropane and Dichloropropenes

Dichloropropenes are a group of volatile organic chemicals, all with a similar chemical makeup. 1,3-Dichloropropene is the most common and the most studied. It's used in agriculture as a soil fumigant. 2,3-Dichloropropene is used in the chemical industry to make further chemicals. There isn't much data available on other dichloropropenes, although they have been detected in National Priority List sites—areas known to be frequently contaminated with hazardous substances.


1,3-Dichloropropene (sold commercially under many names, notably Telone®) is used to control a variety of pests, primarily nematodes that affect plant roots. According to the EPA, it is “one of the few remaining relatively inexpensive fumigants currently available” and among the top ten most commonly used pesticides in the United States.

1,3-Dichloropropene quickly evaporates, but has been detected in low levels in both surface and ground water. Human exposure to 1,3-dichloropropene is expected to be primarily through inhalation where it is produced or used as a fumigant.


1,3-Dichloropropane may also be present as a contaminant where 1,3-dichloropropene is used as a fumigant. 1,3-Dichloropropane is a chemical normally used industrially in the creation of further chemicals. Studies of the chemical are limited, but it has been shown to have genotoxic effects on bacteria.

Health Effects of 1,3-Dichloropropene

1,3-Dichloropropene is toxic with acute exposure, affecting the liver and intestines. One known fatal poisoning caused gastrointestinal effects, “adult respiratory distress syndrome,” and blood and liver damage.

Animal studies of long-term exposure to 1,3-dichloropropene have shown effects on the kidney and urinary bladder. It has also been shown to be carcinogenic to animals, and is classified by the EPA as a “probable” human carcinogen.

Water Treatment for 1,3-Dichloropropene

According to Lenntech, activated carbon has a “moderate probability” of removing 1,3-Dichloropropene. The EPA recommends hydrolysis.

Sources: EPA (1), EPA (2), EPA (3), EPA (4), WHO, IARC, CDC, ATSDR, Lenntech, Photo: WikiMedia, author: Secl

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