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IUPAC name 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane
Abbreviations DBCP
CAS number 96-12-8
Molar mass 236.32 g/mol
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane, better known as DBCP, is the active ingredient in the nematicide Nemagon, also known as Fumazone. It is a soil fumigant formerly used in American agriculture. After discovery of its deleterious health effects on humans, the compound was banned from use in 1979.[1] However, the continuing presence of the chemical as a contaminant in ground water remains a problem for many communities.


  • Until 1977, DBCP was used as a soil fumigant and nematocide on over 40 different crops in the United States. From 1977 to 1979, EPA suspended registration for all DBCP-containing products except for use on pineapples in Hawaii. In 1985, EPA issued an intent to cancel all registrations for DBCP, including use on pineapples. Subsequently, the use of existing stocks of DBCP was prohibited.
  • DBCP is used as an intermediate in the synthesis of organic chemicals.

Sources and potential exposure

  • Human exposure to DBCP could result from the ingestion of contaminated drinking water and food.
  • In the past, release of DBCP to the environment occurred primarily from its fumigant and nematocide uses; because of the cancellation of all DBCP uses, environmental exposure is expected to decline with time.

Examples of persistence

DBCP residues have persisted in contaminated soil and groundwater long after applications have ceased. For example in agricultural areas around Turlock in the Central Valley of California, DBCP was applied to crops in the 1970s. As late as 1989, DBCP persistence was reported in groundwater that was previously used for beneficial purposes, and numerous nearby wells had to be shut down at that time.[2]


  1. Hazard Summary at epa.gov
  2. "Environmental Screening Analysis, Tully Road Properties, Turlock, California", Earth Metrics Incorporated, Report 7826, San Mateo, Ca., March, 1989

External links