Risk Management for Short-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins
- What are Short-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins?
- Why is EPA concerned?
- What action is EPA taking?
- Previous Actions
What are Short-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins?
For purposes of the Short-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (SCCPs) Action Plan (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?
- December 17, 2014: EPA issued a Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for Alkanes C 12-13, chloro, a SCCP. This SNUR requires manufacturers (including importers) and processors of this SCCP to notify EPA at least a 90 days before starting or resuming new uses of this chemical. This notification allows EPA the opportunity to evaluate the intended uses and, if necessary, to prohibit or limit that activity.
- August 22, 2012: EPA announced a settlement with INEOS Chlor Americas, Inc., requiring INEOS to pay $175,000 and end the importation of SCCPs into the United States, and to submit pre-manufacture notices under TSCA section 5 for any MCCPs or LCCPs it wishes to import. Read the press release.
- February 8, 2012: EPA announced a federal enforcement action requiring Dover Chemical to pay $1.4 million and to cease manufacturing short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs), and to submit pre-manufacture notices under TSCA section 5 to EPA for various medium- and long-chain chlorinated paraffins (MCCPs, LCCPs), which also are persistent and bioaccumulative. Dover has the last remaining domestic chlorinated paraffin manufacturing facilities. Read the press release.