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Medium-chain chlorinated paraffins (MCCPs): A review of bioaccumulation potential in the aquatic environment



Chlorinated paraffins (CPs) are high molecular weight organochlorine compounds that have been used in a variety of industrial applications for many years. Medium-chain chlorinated paraffins (MCCPs) (CAS 85535-85-9; Alkanes, C14–17, chloro) are currently under investigation as potential persistent bioaccumulative toxic (PBT) compounds. In this article, the bioaccumulation potential of MCCPs is assessed using a tiered framework proposed after a recent Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Pellston Workshop in 2008. The framework proposes the use of physicochemical properties and modeling assessment, bioconcentration/bioaccumulation (BCF/BAF) assessment, biomagnification (BMF) assessment, and trophic magnification factor (TMF) assessment. It is hoped that use of this framework could harmonize and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the chemical substance evaluation screening process for PBT properties. When applied to MCCPs, the following conclusions were made: empirical physiochemical data is available negating the use of models; laboratory BCFs range from 1000 to 15 000 (growth-corrected lipid normalized values) for 2 MCCP structures; field BAFs were an order of magnitude higher than the trigger criterion for “B status possible”; although results may not meet acceptance criteria for field studies, laboratory-derived BMFs for a number of C14–17 chlorinated alkanes were less than the trigger value of 1 (based on whole-body concentrations) whereas field-derived BMFs were less than 1 (based on lipid corrected values [generally used for field data] excluding one measure for sculpin, [Cottus cognatus]-Diporeia that was based on only one detectable sample); and finally, TMFs were less than the trigger criterion value of 1, which are considered the most convincing evidence for bioaccumulative properties of a compound and the “Gold Standard” measure of bioaccumulation. This article also discusses the uncertainties surrounding the published data, especially concerning field data where limited sampling points are available and the difficulty in assessing the bioaccumulative potential of MCCPs as mixtures of different congeners. In conclusion, although some laboratory bioaccumulation values have a potential for concern, the majority of field values are more favorable when assessing the bioaccumulative potential of MCCPs. Definitive conclusions on the PBT assessment of MCCPs can be eased with further testing in both areas of P and B in the laboratory in conjunction with further monitoring of biota in the field to derive more robust field data. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2014;10:78–86. © 2013 SETAC

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