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Short-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins Action Plan Summary

What chemicals are addressed in the Action Plan?

For purposes of this action plan, 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 intends to further evaluate whether medium-chain (MCCPs) and long-chain chlorinated paraffins (LCCPs) also should be addressed. These chemicals appear to present similar concerns, although data on them are not as comprehensive as data on 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?

In conducting its review of these chemicals, EPA determined that some of the specific SCCPs, MCCPs, and LCCPs currently being manufactured and/or used in the United States are not on the TSCA Inventory. Any substance that is not on the TSCA Inventory is classified as a new chemical. Prior to manufacture or import of a new chemical for general commercial use, a notice must be filed with EPA under TSCA section 5.

  1. EPA intends to address the discrepancy between the specific chlorinated paraffins companies are actually manufacturing or importing and those listed on the TSCA Inventory. EPA intends to require companies to submit Pre-Manufacture Notices for the SCCP, MCCP, and LCCP fractions that are not on the TSCA Inventory and, if appropriate, would initiate action under TSCA section 5 to address their potential risks.

    • 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.

    • March 20, 2012: EPA proposed a significant new use rule (SNUR) for certain SCCPs. The proposal would require companies to notify EPA of plans to manufacture, import or process these chemicals, and would provide EPA an opportunity to review new uses and take any action needed to protect human health or the environment. EPA will accept comments on the proposal until 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Read the press release.

    • 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.
  2. Concurrently, EPA intends to initiate action under TSCA section 6(a) to ban or restrict the manufacture, import, processing or distribution in commerce, export, and use of SCCPs based on the persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity of SCCPs and their presence in the environment.

  3. EPA intends to further evaluate whether the manufacturing, processing, distribution in commerce, use and/or disposal of MCCPs and LCCPs should also be addressed under TSCA section 6(a).

  4. As part of the Agency's efforts to address SCCPs, EPA also intends to evaluate the potential for disproportionate impact on children and other sub-populations.

Download the complete Short-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (SCCPs) Action Plan (PDF), 10 pages, 124 KB, About PDF

Access the public comment docket for the SCCP Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) (Docket ID EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-0573) on Regulations.gov.

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