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Short chain (C10-13) chlorinated paraffins

short chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs), chlorowax or flexchlor

SPRI Emission Reporting Threshold
0.1 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Water
0.1 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Waste Water
1.00 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Land
This sheet is a generic summary, designed to give the reader a basic level of background information about the substance in question. Great care has been taken to represent as effectively and correctly as possible the broad range of (not necessarily consistent) information which is available from a variety of sources. The reader must accept therefore that this sheet has no legal status and cannot be relied upon in any legal proceedings. SEPA disclaims any responsibility or liability whatsoever for errors and omissions in this sheet.
What is it?
Short chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) are a group of chemicals containing the elements carbon, hydrogen and 50-70% chlorine. They are faintly odoured yellow oils without distinct melting or boiling points. SCCPs dissolve in organic solvents, but not in water. They are non-flammable.
What is it used for?
SCCPs are used mainly in industrial fluids used for processes such as the cutting, drilling and stamping of metals. They are also added to PVC products (as fire resistors), used in paints, leathers, textiles and in sealing compounds.
Where does it come from?
SCCPs are released mainly during their production and use as metal working fluids. There are no natural sources of SCCPs.
How might it affect the environment?
SCCPs are highly toxic to aquatic organisms and plants. They do not break down naturally and tend to accumulate. Their persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity mean that they may have damaging environmental effects at a global level.
How might exposure to it affect human health?
SCCPs are currently classified as "harmful" to human health. However, the precise nature of adverse effects on health is unknown and is hence the subject of a large amount of research. Some evidence points to possible carcinogenic effects.
What steps are being taken to limit the potential impacts?
Releases of SCCPs are controlled through European legislation concerned with assessing the risks posed by certain substances (EEC/793/93); and they are listed as "priority substances" for the proposed Water Framework Directive. It is thought that the European Commission will eventually introduce measures which will halt any releases of SCCPs to the environment. They are also listed as a candidate group of substances for inclusion under the internationally agreed OSPAR convention to protect the marine environment of the north-east Atlantic.