Most people are exposed to very low levels of mirex. The most likely way for people in the general population to be exposed to mirex is by eating food, particularly fish, taken from contaminated areas.  People who live in areas where mirex was used or made have higher levels in their tissues. This compound was found in the milk of women who live in these areas, so nursing infants could be exposed. People who live near hazardous waste sites may be exposed to mirex by touching or eating contaminated soil that is on unwashed hands, food containers, or food itself, since these compounds bind to soil particles. Because mirex do not dissolve easily in water or evaporate easily in air, people are not likely to be exposed to them by drinking water or by inhaling air. Since mirex has been banned or phased out in many countries, the only people likely to be exposed through their work are those involved in the cleanup and removal of contaminated soils and sediments.
Animal studies showed that mirex can be taken into bloodstream by inhaling cigarette smoke containing mirex or eat food contaminated with mirex. Mirex passes from the stomach and intestines of animals into their blood but it is not known how much passes from the stomach and intestines of people into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, mirex is carried to many parts of the body where it is stored, mainly in fat. This compound is not broken down in the body and quantity that is not stored leaves the body unchanged mainly in the faeces. Very little leaves the body in the urine. Most of the mirex that is swallowed leaves the body in faeces within two days. However, the mirex that enters the bloodstream and is stored in fat leaves the body very slowly. This process can take from several weeks to months. Mirex can also enter breast milk from the bloodstream of nursing mothers who have been exposed.

Route of Exposure Symptoms First Aid
Inhalation Dust may irritate
Skin Overexposure may cause poisoning Remove contaminated clothing immediately; wash skin with water and soap
Irritation, redness
Flush with clean water for 15 minutes; if irritation persists, seek medical attention
Ingestion May cause poisoning Obtain medical attention immediately; do not induce vomiting; keep at rest lying face downwards; ensure clear airway; fat, milk, or oil should not be given

Structure formula of Mirex

3D structure of Mirex

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