The general name for a large class of organic chemicals including many of great commercial importance, i.e., pesticides, solvents, trihalomethanes, etc. They are formed by substitution of one or more hydrogen atoms by chlorine in a hydrocarbon and have chemical structures ranging from relatively simple to very complex. They include methyl and methylene chloride, chloroform, and carbon tetrachloride. Many are widely used in industry. They include some highly toxic chemicals, carcinogens, and endocrine disrupters.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.