This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Polyhalogenated compound" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (February 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

A polyhalogenated compound (PHC) is any compound with multiple substitutions of halogens. They are of particular interest and importance because they bioaccumulate in humans, and comprise a superset of which has many toxic and carcinogenic industrial chemicals as members. PBDEs, PCBs, dioxins (PCDDs) and PFCs are all polyhalogenated compounds. They are generally non-miscible in organic solvents or water, but miscible in some hydrocarbons from which they often derive.


PHCs are used in a vast array of manufactured products, from wood treatments to cookware coatings, to non-stick, waterproof, and fire-resistant coatings, cosmetics, medicine, electronic fluids, food containers, and wrappings, in everything from furniture and furnishings, automobiles, airplanes, plastics, clothing and cloth, surgery, insulation, adhesives, paints, sealants, lubricating oils, polyurethane foams, cancer therapy, and medical imaging. They are also heavily used in pest control.


PHCs include notoriously dangerous substances, including Agent Orange, DDT, and other pesticides. Many non-pesticide PHCs have the same safety issues as pesticides.


Breakdown of compounds

Despite bioaccumulating in humans, it has been claimed that a method during manufacture using anaerobic bacteria may be efficacious [1]


  1. ^ Wackett, Lawrence P.; Sadowsky, Michael J.; Newman, Lisa M.; Hur, Hor-Gil; Li, Shuying (1994). "Metabolism of polyhalogenated compounds by a genetically engineered bacterium". Nature. 368 (6472): 627–629. Bibcode:1994Natur.368..627W. doi:10.1038/368627a0. PMID 8145847. S2CID 4315658.