Despite the fact that short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) have been prohibited in Canada for ten years, researchers from the University of Toronto have found them in over 87 percent of products examined. The study, which was released on Tuesday in the journal Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, discovered the highest concentrations of SCCPs in toys and electronics, including headphones, raising worries about the chemical’s exposure to youngsters.
What are Short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs)
Short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) are a group of organic chemicals that belong to the chlorinated paraffin family. They are highly complex mixtures of chlorinated n-alkanes, which are straight-chain hydrocarbons with one end saturated with chlorine atoms. SCCPs are composed of carbon chains that are 10 to 13 carbons in length, and they can contain between 30 to 70% chlorine by weight.
Properties of SCCP’s
SCCPs are viscous, yellowish liquids that are insoluble in water, but soluble in most organic solvents. They are highly stable and resistant to heat, light, and chemicals, making them useful in a variety of industrial applications.
SCCPs have been widely used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications, including as plasticizers in rubber, adhesives, and sealants, as flame retardants in plastics, and as additives in metalworking fluids, lubricants, and hydraulic fluids. SCCPs have also been used in the production of leather and textiles, and as an ingredient in some paints and coatings.
SCCPs are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic, and they can have serious environmental and health impacts. SCCPs are classified as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, which means they are subject to global phase-out measures.
SCCPs have been found to be highly toxic to aquatic organisms and can cause harm to fish and other aquatic animals. SCCPs can also accumulate in the food chain and pose a risk to human health. SCCPs have been found in air, water, and soil samples from around the world, including in remote areas such as the Arctic.
In addition to their environmental impact, SCCPs are also a potential health hazard to humans. SCCPs have been shown to be carcinogenic in animal studies, and exposure to SCCPs has been linked to liver and kidney damage, developmental and reproductive disorders, and immune system dysfunction in humans.
SCCPs are subject to various regulations around the world, including the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, which aims to eliminate or restrict the production, use, and release of POPs. In the United States, SCCPs are regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which requires manufacturers to submit premanufacture notices for new chemicals and to test the safety of existing chemicals.
According to the study, the exterior plastic covering of headphone wires had the greatest amounts of all three CPs. The worst culprit was a foam ball, followed by many toys and toy packagings. These findings have “direct implications for exposure to infants and toddlers by hand-to-mouth transfer and/or mouthing,” the report states.
An earlier Australian study that discovered children have higher blood levels of SCCPs than adults supports the conclusion.
For consumers it would be next to impossible to detect which product has SCPPs and what product doesn’t. Perhaps best practice would be to stay away from imported products that are not approved by ESA,CSA and other Canadian agencies.