Chlorodibenzofurans (CDFs)

CAS ID#: 

Affected Organ Systems: Gastrointestinal (Stomach and Intestines, part of the digestive system), Hepatic (Liver)

Cancer Classification:  Please contact NTP, IARC, or EPA with questions on cancer and cancer classification.

Chemical Classification: Dioxins, Furans, PCBs (contain phenyl rings of carbon atoms)

Summary: Chlorinated dibenzofurans, or CDFs, are a family of chemicals that contain one to eight chlorine atoms attached to the carbon atoms of the parent chemical, dibenzofuran. There are 135 different types of CDFs with varying harmful health and environmental effects. The compounds that contain chlorine atoms at the 2,3,7,8-positions of the dibenzofuran molecule are known to be especially harmful. Not all of the different types have been found in large enough quantities to study the physical properties. However, of those that have been studied, they do not dissolve in water easily and appear to be in the form of colorless solids. There is no known use for these chemicals. Other than for research purposes, they are not deliberately produced by industry. Most CDFs are produced in small amounts as undesirable by-products of certain processes, such as manufacturing other chemicals or bleaching at paper and pulp mills. CDFs can also be released from incinerators.

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Page last reviewed: February 10, 2021