HCB has been shown to cross the placenta in a number of species including humans. Treatment of pregnant rats and mice with HCB produced an increased incidence of enlarged kidneys in the offspring. Increased perinatal mortality and abnormal immune system development have also been reported in mice offspring.
Negative teratology studies have been reported as well in mice and rats. In these reports, abnormalities in the offspring were not seen in the absence of maternal toxicity. Human teratogenicity studies with HCB have not been reported.
HCB was shown to be nonmutagenic in several tests with bacteria and was mutagenic with yeast cells. No generalizations to humans may be drawn based on this limited information.
No studies were located regarding reproductive effects in humans or animals following inhalation exposure to hexachlorobenzene. Several miscarriages and stillbirths were reported among people with previous oral exposure to hexachlorobenzene, but it is not clear that the rate of miscarriages was significantly higher than normal for this population. Animal studies using oral exposure have identified doses associated with reproductive effects, including ovarian lesions and hormonal and menstrual changes, in female rats and monkeys, reduced fertility in rats, reduced mating index in male rats, and testicular effects in rats and pigs.