By Little Pro on 2016-01-07 Views: Update:2017-01-18
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is an international treaty to protect human health and the environment from the harmful effects of POPs. The Convention was adopted on 22 May 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden and entered into force on 17 May 2004.
More than 170 countries have ratified the Convention up to date. The Convention requires that Parties to the convention take measures to eliminate or restrict the production and use of certain hazardous chemicals on the List of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the Convention. The table below gives you an overview of the Convention.
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are organic chemical substances that persist in the environment, bioaccumulate through the food chain, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment.
POPs concentrate in living organisms through a process called bioaccumulation. Fish, predatory birds, mammals, and humans are high up the food chain and so absorb the greatest concentrations.
Specific effects of POPs can include cancer, allergies and hypersensitivity, damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems, reproductive disorders, and disruption of the immune system. Some POPs are also considered to be endocrine disrupters, which, by altering the hormonal system, can damage the reproductive and immune systems of exposed individuals as well as their offspring.
Currently there are 26 chemicals on the List of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the Convention (up to May 2015). The List consists of three annexes:
It shall be noted that:
The list of POPs in the convention is not a static list. In addition to above 26 chemicals (as of May 2015), the following 3 hazardous chemicals are proposed for listings under the Convention:
The Stockholm Convention has a big impact on both chemical industry and other sectors which use certain hazardous substances (for example, flame retardants) in their articles and parts. Once a hazardous substance is added to Annex A, it will face a global ban. Companies must take measures to eliminate or substitute the hazardous substance in their products.
Countries that have ratified the Convention usually have their own environmental regulations to eliminate or restrict the production and use of listed Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in their own jurisdictions. Companies must refer to those regulations for more detailed requirements.