Chlorinated Paraffins

What are Chlorinated Paraffins?

Chlorinated paraffins (CPs) are manufactured substances of “unknown or variable composition, complex reaction products or biological materials”, referred to UVCB’s. They generally contain linear chloroalkanes, with different degrees of chlorination and chain length distribution depending on the application.

Where are CPs found?

Chlorinated paraffins are used as plasticisers for polyvinyl chloride, as extreme-pressure additives in metal-machining fluids, as additives to paints, coatings, and sealants to improve their resistance to chemicals and to water, and as flame retardants for plastics, fabrics, paints, and coatings.

Why are CPs toxic?

They have a high potential for bioaccumulation and are considered as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) sometimes referred to as forever chemicals due to their resistance to degradation though biological and photolytic process and are toxic chemicals affecting human and environmental health.

How are CPs differentiated?

CPs with C14-17 chain lengths and have chlorination level at or above 45% chlorine by weight (Cl wt.) and the principal constituents of substances called “medium chain chlorinated paraffins” (MCCPs). “MCCPs” are priority substance under the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) (OSPAR, 2000)

Short chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs, containing C10-13 carbon chain lengths) and long chain chlorinated paraffins (LCCPs, containing C18-30 carbon chain lengths) are structural analogues registered under EU REACH. SCCPs was listed as a Persistent Organic Pollutant (POP) in 2017. Commercial “MCCPs” contains C10-13 constituents that may be analogous to SCCPs, at levels typically below 1% by weight (often much lower), although the identity and actual concentration of the individual constituents is not known.

How may CPs be detected?

The highly complex nature of CPs means that there are considerable analytical challenges associated with detection and quantification.

High Resolution Mass Spectrometry is the method of choice for analysis. The degree of chlorination is an important factor, especially if the substance in a sample differs from the analytical standards used. Furthermore, some commonly used low resolution mass spectrometry methods may be subject to interferences from both the matrix and other contaminants (such as chlordane’s, polychlorobiphenyls and toxaphene’s) unless highly efficient sample clean-up procedures are used.

What CRMs are available to support CP analysis?

Chiron offer an extensive range of Chlorinated Paraffins (Chlorffins) supportive of analytical methods.

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