Identifying Emerging Environmental Concerns from Long-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins towards German Ecosystems

2021, Journals

Yuan, Bo; Rüdel, Heinz; de Wit, Cynthia A.; Koschorreck, Jan
Journal of Hazardous Materials (2021), 127607; online 27 October 2021


Germany is one of several major European producers of chlorinated paraffins (CPs). This study showed that not only the legacy short-chain products (SCCPs, C10-13), but also the current-use medium- and long-chain products (MCCPs, C14-17; LCCPs, C>17) as well as the very-short-chain impurities (vSCCPs, C<10) are ubiquitous in the 72 samples collected from the coastal, terrestrial, and freshwater ecosystems across the country. The concentrations of LCCPs surpassed those of the other CPs in 40% of the biota samples. Archived bream samples collected downstream of a CP-manufacturing factory showed decreasing temporal trends of (v)SCCPs and relatively constant levels of MCCPs from 1995-2019; however, the overall levels of LCCPs have increased by 290%, reflecting the impact of chemical regulation policies on changes in CP production. A visualization algorithm was developed for integrating CP results from various matrices to illustrate spatial tendencies of CP pollution. Higher levels of (v)SCCPs were indicated in the former West Germany region, while MCCP and LCCP concentrations did not seem to differ between former East and West Germany, suggesting relatively equal production and use of these chemicals after the German Reunification. The results provide an early warning signal of environmental concerns from LCCPs on the eve of their booming global production and use.

doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.127607

Graphical Abstract