Chloro-alkanes (C10-13)

The substance
Chloro-alkanes (C10-13), also called short chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCP) are a complex mixture of closely related chemicals namely hydrocarbons having 10 to 13 carbon atoms arranged in chains and containing 50-70% by weight of chlorine. They are yellowish oily liquids, runny or thick, without a distinct melting point, instead thickening below about 35 0C. They boil at over 200 0C, in the process decomposing with the release of hydrogen chloride gas. They are insoluble in water but dissolve well in most non-polar organic solvents like paraffin oil. Chloro-alkanes (C10-13) have a faint odour. They are non-flammable and do not evaporate easily.

The main use was as industrial metal working fluids used in processes involving cutting, drilling, machining and stamping metal in engineering and manufacturing. Because of their fire retarding properties, chloro-alkanes (C10-13) are used as an additive in rubber, especially for conveyor belts. They are also used in paints and other coatings, leathers, textiles and in sealing compounds. Their use in metal working fluids and for fat liquoring of leather is prohibited in the EU by January 2004 (for use as substances or as constituents of other substances or preparations in concentrations higher than 1%).

Major emissions
Chloro-alkanes (C10-13) were mainly released to water as a result of fugitive emissions during manufacture and use as metal working fluids. Releases to air are very limited because of the very low volatility of the substances. Accidental releases during transport and storage may also result in releases. There are no natural sources of chloro-alkanes (C10-13).

Impacts on human health and environment
Excessive exposure to chloro-alkanes (C10-13) may affect the kidney, liver and thyroid gland, and there is some evidence that the substances may cause cancer. Chloro-alkanes (C10-13) are not easily biodegradable and are bioaccumulative. They have been detected in marine and fresh water animals and in sediments in industrial areas and have also been found in remote locations. The substances are very toxic to aquatic life. The persistence, tendency to bioaccumulate, toxicity and occurrence of chloro-alkanes (C10-13) in remote locations gives rise to concerns of possible harmful effects on a global scale. All chlorinated paraffins have the potential to form toxic products if heated in a fire. Chloro-alkanes (C10-13) are listed as priority hazardous substances in the Water Framework Directive, and as priority substances (along with medium chain (C14-17) Chloro-alkanes) under Regulation 793/93. The risk assessment report on chloro-alkanes (C10-13) can be downloaded from

Emission to water reporting threshold: 0 kg/year

Data source: European Pollutant Emission Register