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Short-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins: Production, Use and International Regulations

  • Heidelore FiedlerEmail author
Chapter
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 10)

Abstract

Chlorinated paraffins (CPs) are a group of synthetic organic chemicals consisting of n-alkanes with varying degrees of chlorination, usually between 40 and 70% by weight. There are no known natural sources of CPs. CPs are produced by chlorination of n-alkane feedstocks. CPs typically are viscous oils with low vapor pressures; they are practically insoluble in water but are soluble in chlorinated solvents or mineral oils. They are toxic to wildlife, long-lasting in the environment and build up in the tissues of organisms. Long-chain CPs are believed to be much less toxic to aquatic life than the related short- or medium-chain CPs.

CPs consist of extremely complex mixtures allowing many possible positions for the chlorine atoms. Depending on the degree of chlorination, they are grouped into low (<50%) and high (>50%) chlorine containing. Depending on the chain length, the products are often subdivided into short-chain (C10–C13), medium-chain (C14–C17) and long-chain (C18–C30) CPs.

CPs, including short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs), are used worldwide in a wide range of applications such as plasticisers in plastics, extreme pressure additives in metalworking fluids, flame retardants and additives in paints. Their wide industrial applications probably provide the major source of environmental contamination. CPs may be released into the environment from improperly disposed metalworking fluids containing CPs or from polymers containing CPs. Loss of CPs by leaching from paints and coatings may also contribute to environmental contamination. The potential for loss during production and transport is expected to be less than that during product use and disposal. Despite many efforts, a global picture as to the definition of CPs, present production, uses and occurrences is still not yet obtained.

Since about 20 years, SCCPs have become subject to regulation at national and international level due to their physical–chemical properties and adverse effects. Action has been initiated for severely restricting or banning production and use of certain CPs. The latest activities include the listing of SCCPs under the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Protocol of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Longe-Range Transboundary Air Pollution Convention and ongoing discussions on including SCCPs to the Stockholm Convention on POPs.

Keywords

Chlorinated paraffins Definitions Regulation Risk assessment Releases 

Abbreviations

ACP

Arctic contamination potential

b.w.

Body weight

CAS

Chemical Abstract Service

COP

Conference of the parties

CP(s)

Chlorinated paraffin(s)

CSTEE

European Scientific Committee on Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and the Environment

CTV

Critical toxicity value

E(E)C

European (Economic) Commission

EEV

Estimated exposure value

EINECS

European Inventory of Existing Chemical Substances

EPER

European Pollutant Emission Register

E-PRTR

European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register

GMP

Global monitoring plan

HELCOM

Helsinki Commission

HLC

Henry’s law constant

IARC

International Agency for Research on Cancer

IPCS

International Programme on Chemical Safety

IUPAC

International Union for Applied Chemistry

LCCPs

Long-chain chlorinated paraffins

LOAEL

Lowest observed adverse effect level

LOEC

Lowest observed effect concentration

LRTAP

Long-range transboundary air pollution

MAP

Mediterranean Action Plan

MCCPs

Medium-chain chlorinated paraffins

NOAEL

No adverse effect level

OECD

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

OSPAR

Oslo-Paris Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic

PARCOM

Paris Commission

PBT

Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic

PEC

Predicted environmental concentration

PNEC

Predicted no-effect concentration

POPRC

Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee

POPs

Persistent organic pollutants

PVC

Polyvinylchloride

RAR

(European) Risk Assessment Report

RQ

Risk quotient

SCCPs

Short-chain chlorinated paraffins

STP

Sewage treatment plant

TDI

Tolerable daily intake

UNECE

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

UNEP

United Nations Environment Programme

WFD

Water Framework Directive

WHO

World Health Organisation

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UNEP ChemicalsChâtelaine (GE)Switzerland

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