Fact sheet: Chlorinated paraffins

There is a ban on the import or sale of products containing short-chain chlorinated paraffins where these products are used for:

  • metalworking or
  • greasing leather

The regulation applies to short-chain chlorinated paraffins (C10-C13 chloroalkanes). Chlorinated paraffins are a group of substances used in paint, glue and plastic, as a coolant and lubricant in cutting oils, and as fire retardants. There are short, medium and long-chain chlorinated paraffins, depending on the length of the paraffins (i.e. the number of chlorine atoms in the molecule).

Please note that the limit on the level of short-chain chlorinated paraffins as impurities is 1 per cent by weight.

Chlorinated paraffins are environmentally harmful

The use of short-chain chlorinated paraffins must be limited. These substances are environmentally harmful, as they are very toxic to water-dwelling organisms. They can cause long-term damage to the aquatic environment. These substances spread particularly in the marine environment, where they accumulate in fish.

Importers and distributors are responsible

Anyone who imports or sells short-chain chlorinated paraffins or chemical products containing short-chain chlorinated paraffins is responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulation, as set out in the Statutory Order.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical inspectors monitor compliance with the regulations and will ensure that illegal situations are brought into compliance. This may involve withdrawing the product from the Danish market, or making the product legal in some other way. Anyone who breaches the regulations may also face a fine.

More information

The full text of the regulations is available (in Danish) in the Statutory Order:
Statutory Order no. 461 of 26 May 2003 banning the import or sale of short-chain chlorinated paraffins (at retsinfo.dk) (Danish link)