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Worldwide Increasing Application of Chlorinated Paraffins as Softener and Retardant

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Stronger Regulations Expected

Dec 2019. Chlorinated parrafins are biologically persistent and accumulate, inter alia, in the food chain of men and animal. The analysis is a demanding task, which Eurofins handles by use of GC/ECNI-MS as a modern mass spectrometric technique combined with broadly accepted evaluation methods.

Application of Chlorinated Paraffins

Chlorinated paraffins (CPs) are technical mixtures of chlorinated, linear hydrocarbons of different chain lengths and chlorination degrees. They are differentiated according to their carbon chain length into short chain (C10-C13 = SCCP), mid-chain (C14-C17 = MCCP) and long-chain (> C17 = LCCP) chlorinated paraffins. CPs are used as additives (flame retardands, lubricants), e.g. in polymers, rubber, textiles, sealants, colorants, furthermore as metal working fluids and leather production. Meanwhile their production reached a level of 1 million tons per year on a worldwide scale.

Complex of Problems of Chlorinated Paraffins

CPs (SCCP, MCCP, LCCP) are released into the environment especially via waste and waste waters.  MCCP and especially SCCP are biologically persistent and accumulate in the food chain of men and animal and can meanwhile they can be detected in a multitude of matrices as e.g. water, soil, sewage sludge, biota (including food as e.g. fish) and human tissues and mothers milk. Especially the SCCP are carcinogens and teratogens. Furthermore, CPs have ecotoxicological effects, e.g. as being toxic to aquatic organisms. Due to these properties, the production of SCCP has ceased in Europe/North America and they are meanwhile limited or prohibited for many applications, in Europe e.g. by EU directive 2002/45/EC and regulation (EC) No. 850/2004. Furthermore, SCCP are included in the EU Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EG (WFD) as priority substances. Since 2017, they are listed in Annex A of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Also the alternative products MCCP and LCCP are meanwhile discussed as being possibly toxic or persistent.

Method of Analysis

The chemical analysis of SCCP and/or MCCP is a demanding task due to the extreme complexity of the used technical mixtures. The Eurofins GfA Lab Service GmbH as an experienced and well-equipped laboratory handles this by use of GC/ECNI-MS as a modern mass spectrometric technique combined with broadly accepted evaluation methods. The determination of CPs is therefore possible in a broad variety of environmental, food and human matrices – for limit value surveillance as well as background monitoring.

We expect stronger regulation in the next few years. That is the reason why we optimised the existing method and will continue to improve.

Do You Have Any Questions Regarding Chlorinated Paraffins or our Analysis Methods?

Please do not hesitate to contact your account manager or the experts of Eurofins GfA Lab Services.