Pesticides in a Murder Plot
Janese Dudash wrote:

Hello Steve,
My name is Janese Dudash.  I am currently researching a mystery novel and intend for my poison to be a pesticide.  My current plan is to use chlordane as a poison because I understand it can be lethal to humans is small amounts absorbed through the skin as well as orally, and in the air.  If you have specific information on lethal human accounts or doses or anything else you deem pertinent, I'd appreciate any help you can give me.  I know it has already been banned, but believe that it's still being illegally dumped by chemical companies and is therefore accessible.  I am also aware that air contamination is still evident in many homes treated prior to 1988.
In reviewing your site I see that Lindane is also a candidate for my book, and wonder if you have any additional information on this substance. Obviously it is lethal taken orally...I'm assuming skin absorption isn't an issue.  Do you know its reaction time and effects?  Is it difficult to obtain?
I know you must be busy based on your cause and continuing education, and I don't claim to be a pesticide-free advocate.  To be honest, until now I hadn't researched the issue.  However, I do believe that if I am lucky enough to get published and have accurate information, any awareness created by reading my book could only be a bonus to your cause.
Thank you for your time and any information you can give me.
Janese H. Dudash

Dear Janese - The pesticide poisons chlordane and/or lindane would probably not kill you fast enough when absorbed thru the skin.  They will kill you - if you put a great deal on someone, but, that would obviously be a bad choice for a mystery novel - as the cause of death would be no mystery and/or it would take up to 20 -30 years to develop cancer.  If I were writing a murder mystery I would use an organophosphate, e.g., parathion, a few drops absorbed thru the skin or ingested would do the job quickly and probably would be undetected or blaimed on the environmental contamination, or I would use a little fumigation gas-----murder- most foul!  Steve.

Hello again Steve,
I had already sent the message above when I realized I hadn't mentioned that I had also considered heptachlor, but was unable to find much information on it at this point.  The information that I do have is generally grouped in with Chlordane articles.  Is this still being used for fire ants?(I was unable to pull anything from your fire ants icon - sorry.)  My understanding was that Velsicol had ceased production of it as well, but I've received contradictory information.  Do you know if it has the same exposure routes, reaction time and effects as chlordane?  I know it is a relative.

Dear Janese, Every time you use chlordane you also use heptachlor - you could buy "straight" heptaclor, but, again I believe it would be too obvious and/or too slow.  I believe many people have died because of these poisons, but, slowly or from a heart attack like my Uncle.   Steve.

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