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Chlorinated Paraffins: Still Dangerous Despite Ban

The production of liquid short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCP) was banned back in 1995. Since they are not water soluble, instead they form micro-droplets and accumulate in organic material. This bioaccumulation can also occur inside the human body, and chlorinated paraffins are considered carcinogenic. Even though they are no longer used, they can still pose problems during demolition work many years later. The EU has classified SCCPs as strongly toxic to aquatic environments.

Chlorinated paraffins were used as binding agents in coatings, as additives in sealants and putties, in metal processing, in greasing for leather and fur, and even as flame retardants in plastics, rubber, paper, and textiles. However, above all, they could be found as plasticizers in plastics and coatings, for example in PVC for electric cables and flooring. This explains why they are still such a highly relevant topic today.

In all demolition and renovation projects, the company that is responsible for the work is required to know whether or not there are chlorinated paraffins present and if yes, to what extent. The GBA Group has been analyzing chlorinated paraffins in a wide range of matrices for many years now. We use a variety of analytical methods that we continually enhance and refine. These analyses and assessments help prevent these extremely hazardous substances from ending up in the environment, for example, after old buildings are torn down.

On February 28th, 2020, the 25th “Fachtagung Abbruch” (Demolition Conference) takes place in Berlin. This conference is Europe’s most important meeting point for the remediation, recycling, and demolition industries. Experts from the GBA Group will be at Stand 90, ready to consult you on all the challenges associated with the analysis of chlorinated paraffins, from sampling to evaluating the results.

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