Euro Chlor publishes dossier on the environmental safety of halogenated organic by-products from active chlorine use


SD 15 Chlorinated ByproductsApart from their use in chemical synthesis, active chlorine solutions have a wide range of applications ranging from purification of water for drinking, swimming and cooling to cleaning, bleaching and disinfection. Generally these applications make use of the powerful oxidizing properties of these solutions, and most of the organic matter with which these solutions react during use is oxidized by incorporation of oxygen, dehydrogenation etc. A small part of the active chlorine, however, can take part in chlorination reactions which create halogenated organic by-products.

The nature, properties and environmental fate of these by-products have been of particular interest to environmental scientists and regulators. This was initially because of concerns that they may include, or be similar to, some environmentally hazardous persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic molecules.

This dossier addresses both the main chemical families of the by-products and the many minor components including often uncharacterisable halogenated macromolecules that make up the balance of the effluent mixtures. It considers the quantities of halogenated by-products typically produced during the various uses of active chlorine solutions. It identifies the quantities likely to be discharged to the aquatic environment and assesses their potential impacts on the aquatic environment.

The new Science Dossier collates the findings of more than 110 recent scientific studies. It can be ordered free of cost on CD-rom or downloaded via the Euro Chlor website.

Note to editors

This Science Dossier constitutes the 15th publication in a series of Euro Chlor science publications aiming to improve the understanding of key topics related to the chlorine industry in order to support science-based decision-making. Science Dossiers are dealing with topics related to chlorine chemistry, often in the area of environmental or human health.
The Dossiers intend to provide objective scientific information helping to improve the credibility and transparency of the chlorine industry. Many of the Science Dossiers have been the basis for peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals, written by specialists in the field.

Further information

Richy Mariner, Biocides and Science Manager, Tel. +32 2 676 7361
Dirk Clotman, Communications Manager, Tel. +32 473 83 79 64
Additional information on the European Chlor-Alkali sector and its scientific publications page .