About POPs

Whereas chemical inventions and use has resulted several advancement in human development, some have been reported to cause toxic reaction, persist for long period in the environment, travel many kilometers and cause long-term consequences both to humans and environment which were never intended. The most popular of these chemicals are those popularly referred to as persistent organic pollutants. Though the risk levels of these chemicals vary they share the following characteristics;

  • They are highly toxic.

  • They are persistent, lasting for years or even decades before degrading into less dangerous forms.

  • They evaporate and travel long distances through the air and through water.

  • They accumulate in fatty tissue.

Twelve persistent organic pollutants have been labeled as the dirty dozen owing to the risk they pose to human and environment. They include;

  • Nine pesticides (aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, mirex, hexachlorobenzene, and toxaphene)

  • PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls)

  • Dioxins and furans (polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins or PCDDs, and polychlorinated dibenzofurans or PCDFs).

    The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) was then established to safeguard people and environment from these dangerous chemical by helping Parties to switch to safer alternatives and to clean up existing stockpiles.The objective of the Stockholm Convention is to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants

     

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