Chlorodibenzofurans (CDFs)


Affected Organ Systems: Dermal (Skin), Developmental (effects while organs are developing), Endocrine (Glands and Hormones), Gastrointestinal (Stomach and Intestines, part of the digestive system), Hepatic (Liver), Immunological (Immune System), Neurological (Nervous System), Ocular (Eyes), Renal (Urinary System or Kidneys)

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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Community Members

ToxFAQs - Fact sheet that answers the most frequently asked questions about a contaminant and its health effects.

National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals - Provides an ongoing assessment of the exposure of the U.S. population to environmental chemicals using biomonitoring.

Toxicological and Health Professionals
Toxicological and Health Professionals

Toxicological Profile - Succinctly characterizes the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for a hazardous substance.

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Page last reviewed: February 10, 2021