Nine Toxic Chemicals Added to International Ban

Nine additional toxic chemicals will be phased out under the Stockholm Convention, following international agreement at a conference in Geneva last week.

The Conference of the Parties (COP), attended by more than 160 governments, amended the Stockholm Convention for the first time, to add nine persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to a list of 12 that have
already been targeted for reductions in farming and industry.

“We now have a clear signal that Governments around the world take seriously the risks posed by such toxic chemicals,” said UN Under-Secretary General and United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Executive, Achim Steiner.

In another move, the conference unanimously adopted a groundbreaking decision for collaboration between the Stockholm Convention and its sister treaties on hazardous chemicals and wastes, the Rotterdam and Basel Conventions.

A landmark decision was also reached on the endorsement of the DDT global partnership. While DDT is targeted for eventual elimination, the Convention recognizes that some countries will continue to use this pesticide to protect their citizens from malaria and other diseases.

The PCB Elimination Network was also endorsed. Countries have now strengthened efforts to phase out polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs through a cooperative framework to support countries in the environmentally sound management and disposal of these harmful substances.

The nine chemicals added to the list are: Alpha hexachlorocyclohexane; Beta hexachlorocyclohexane;
Hexabromodiphenyl ether and heptabromodiphenyl ether;
Tetrabromodiphenyl ether and pentabromodiphenyl ether; Chlordecone;
Hexabromobiphenyl; Lindane; Pentachlorobenzene; Perfluorooctane
sulfonic acid, its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride.  

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