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Chlorinated Paraffins

3. Entry Into the Environment

3.1 Production, Importation and Use Pattern

Canadian production and usage data for CPs were collected by means of a Notice, issued pursuant to section 71 of CEPA 1999, that was published in the Canada Gazette (Environment Canada 2003a). CPs are no longer produced in Canada (Camford Information Services, 2001). Pioneer Chemicals Inc. (formerly ICI Canada), Cornwall, Ontario, was the only Canadian producer of CPs. However, this plant was recently sold to Dover Chemical Corporation and it is currently not producing chlorinated paraffins. This Cornwall plant previously produced MCCPs and LCCPs with a chlorine content of up to 56% under the trade name Cereclor (Camford Information Services 2001). The capacity for production was 5.0, 5.0, 8.5 and 8.5 kilotonnes in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000, respectively; the corresponding imports to Canada in these years were 2.0, 2.0, 1.7 and 1.8 kilotonnes, respectively.

Total reported annual usage of CPs in Canada (production + imports - exports) was approximately 3000 tonnes in 2000 and 2001 (Environment Canada 2003a). Whether the amount in use is the same at present is not known. North American demand for CPs fluctuates depending on the strength of the economy (Camford Information Services 2001).

Canadian use pattern data were obtained in two ways in the Notice issued pursuant to section 71 of CEPA 1999 (Environment Canada 2003a); distributors of CPs reported their sales volumes and intended usages for their customers, and users of CPs also reported on how they use CPs and the end uses for products that they formulate. There were some differences in reported usage volumes for CPs by distributors and users, but the uses generally were in agreement.

Nearly all usage of SCCPs was reported to be in metalworking applications. Minor uses included use as a flame retardant in plastics and rubber.

The majority of uses for MCCPs as reported by distributors were in plastics and as lubricating additives. Minor uses were as an additive in sealants and caulking, in rubber and paints, and as a flame retardant in plastics or rubber.

The major uses of LCCPs are in lubricating additives, metalworking fluids and paints. Minor uses were in plastics and as flame retardants, engine oil, fabric adhesive and rock drilling fluid. Additional information on uses is available in the supporting document (Environment Canada 2008).

3.2 Releases to the Environment in Canada

There is currently no evidence of any significant natural source of CPs (U.K. Environment Agency 2003). Anthropogenic releases of CPs into the environment may occur during production, storage, transportation, industrial and consumer usage of CP-containing products, disposal and burning of waste, and land filling of products (Tomy et al. 1998a).

The two major sources of release of SCCPs, MCCPs and LCCPs into the Canadian environment are likely use in metalworking applications and manufacturing of products containing these CPs. The possible sources of releases to water from manufacturing include spills, facility wash-down and storm water runoff. CPs in metalworking/metal cutting fluids may also be released into aquatic environments from drum disposal, carry-off and spent bath use (Government of Canada 1993a). These releases are collected in sewer systems and ultimately end up in the effluents of sewage treatment plants.

Other releases could be associated with use of gear oil packages, fluids used in hard rock mining and equipment use in other types of mining, fluids and equipment used in oil and gas exploration, manufacture of seamless pipe, metalworking and operation of turbines on ships (CPIA 2002; Environment Canada 2003b).

Landfilling is a major disposal route for polymeric products in Canada. CPs would be expected to remain stabilized in these products, with minor losses to washoff from percolating water. Leaching from landfill sites is likely to be negligible owing to strong binding of CPs to soils. Minor emissions of these products, which are effectively dissolved in polymers, could occur for centuries after disposal (IPCS 1996).

Polymer-incorporated CPs could also be released during recycling of plastics, which may involve processes such as chopping, grinding and washing. If released as dust from these operations, the CPs would be adsorbed to particles because of high sorption and octanol–air partition coefficients.

Another significant source of release of CPs to the environment is from losses during the service life of products containing CP polymers (PVC, other plastics, paints, sealants, etc.) (European Commission, 2000; U.K. Environment Agency 2003). These releases are predicted to be mainly to urban/industrial soil and to wastewater.

3.2.1 National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) Data

Since 1999, on-site environmental releases of CPs (alkanes, C10-13, chloro; alkanes, C6-18, chloro) in Canada must be reported to the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) by companies meeting the reporting criteria. Based on information collected by the NPRI, very small amounts of CPs are being released to the Canadian environment by companies that meet the NPRI reporting requirements. In 2002, small transfers of short-chain CPs for disposal to landfill (1.45 tonnes) and recycling by recovery of organics (1.94 tonnes) have been reported to the NPRI from only two companies, both located in Ontario. Less than 5 kg of releases and/or transfers of C6-18 CPs have been reported by a third company in Ontario. In 2001, the same three companies mentioned above reported similar quantities of releases/transfers of CPs to the NPRI. It should be noted, however, that CPs are likely to be released from sources other than the industrial sectors included in the NPRI, and releases to the Canadian environment could thus be considerably higher than those reported to this inventory.