Chlordane is a persistent and bioaccumulative chlorinated cyclodiene. The technical grade chlordane is not a single chemical, but is a mixture of many related chemicals, of which about 10 are major components. Some of the major components are transchlordane, cischlordane, chlordene, heptachlor, and transnonachlor.
Since the discovery of chlordane in 1945 by Julius Hyman of the Velsicol Corporation, it was used as a pesticide on agricultural crops, lawns, and gardens including vegetables, small grains, maize, other oilseeds, potatoes, sugarcane, sugar beets, fruits, nuts, cotton and jute. Chlordane was also extensively used as a fumigating agent. In the late 1970s and at the beginning of the 1980s many countries severely restricted or banned its use. Action to ban the use of chlordane has been taken among others in Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Costa, Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, EU, Kenya, Korea, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Mozambique, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Santa Lucia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tonga, Turkey, United Kingdom, Yemen and Yugoslavia.
From 1983 until 1988, in the US, use of chlordane was only approved by the EPA to control termites in homes. The pesticide was applied underground around the foundation of homes to kill termites that come into contact with it.