Klorparaffin C10-13, Klorparaffiner, C10-13
CxH(2x-y+2)Cly, where x = 10-13 and y = 1-13
Chlorinated alkanes, so-called chloro-alkanes, are chlorinated, straight hydrocarbon chains that are categorised as short, medium or long chain chloro-alkanes depending on the length of the carbon chain. Short chain alkanes consist of 10 to 13 carbon atoms (C10-C13), medium chain consist of 14 to 17 carbon atoms and long chain consist of more than 17 carbon atoms.1 Short chain alkanes are usually yellowish, oily liquids with a faint odour. These chloro-alkanes are also the most harmful to the environment.2 3
Chlorinated alkanes are not produced in Sweden. The use of short chain chloro-alkanes is limited due to its adverse effects on the environment.4 Chloro-alkanes have been used in for example cooling agents and lubricants in the metal processing industry and as an additive in sealants, paints, plastics and rubber as a plasticiser and flame retardant.5 6 7 The use of short chain chloro-alkanes have decreased by 95 percent since 1998 in Sweden.8 Despite the limited use there are still chloro-alkanes in various imported consumer-available products.9
Sources and transportation pathways
Chlorinated alkanes do not occur naturally in the environment. On a global scale, emissions occur mainly from production and use of liquids and oils used within metal production.10 Chloro-alkanes are also emitted to water and can travel far by air. Short chain chloro-alkanes have been detected in various media, such as in sediment, biota and sludge from wastewater treatment plants, both in urban environments and further away from potential emission sources. Chloro-alkanes have been detected in breast milk.11 Another important emission source is diffuse emissions from the use of products containing chloro-alkanes.
Effects on environment and health
Chloro-alkanes are stable compounds that are not readily degradable and can bioaccumulate in the environment. Short chain chloro-alkanes are persistent, bioaccumulate in the environment and very toxic to aquatic organisms.12 Short chain chloro-alkanes are classified as potentially carcinogenic to humans.13
International agreements and regulations
Short chain chloro-alkanes are regulated by the UN Stockholm Convention, the UN Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) and the EU Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC). The presence of short chain chloro-alkanes in products are regulated by the EU regulation on cosmetic products (EC 1223/2009), the EU POP regulation (EC 850/2004) and EU REACH regulation (EC 1907/2006). The UN Protocol on PRTRs and the EU E-PRTR regulation regulate how data on emissions of short chain chloro-alkanes is made available.