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Short-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins

What chemicals are addressed in the action plan?

For purposes of this Short-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (SCCPs) Action Plan (PDF), 10 pages, 124 KB, About PDF, short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) include all individual chemicals or mixtures that contain: CxH(2x-y+2)Cly
where x = 10-13; y = 3-12; and the average chlorine content ranges from approximately 40 to 70 percent with the limiting molecular formulas set at C10H19Cl3 and C13H16Cl12.

SCCPs are used as lubricants and coolants in metal cutting and metal forming operations and as secondary plasticizers and flame retardants in plastics.

EPA is further evaluating medium-chain (MCCPs) and long-chain chlorinated paraffins (LCCPs) as part of its Work Plan for Chemical Assessments. These chemicals appear to present similar concerns, although data on them is far more limited than for SCCPs.

Why is EPA concerned about these chemicals?

SCCPs are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic to aquatic organisms at low concentrations. They can remain in the environment for a significant amount of time and can bioaccumulate in animal tissues, increasing the probability and duration of exposure. Even relatively small releases of these chemicals from individual manufacturing, processing, or waste management facilities have the potential to accumulate over time to higher levels and cause significant adverse impacts on the environment.

SCCPs have been measured in a variety of environmental media including air, sediment, surface waters, and wastewater. SCCPs have also been measured in a variety of biota, including freshwater aquatic species, marine mammals, and avian and terrestrial wildlife. In addition, SCCPs have been detected in samples of human breast milk from Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as in a variety of food items from Japan and various regions of Europe.

What action is EPA taking?

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