Focus on the POPs 24小时娱乐备用网址 Committee: MCCPs and LC-PFCAs Face Global 24小时娱乐备用网址

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The 19th meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants 24小时娱乐备用网址 Committee (POPRC-19) was held from October 9 to 13, 2023, at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy. During this meeting, scientistsunanimously recommended that the following two groups of chemicals be considered hazardous and proposed their inclusion in Annex A of the Stockholm Convention:

  • Chlorinated paraffins with a carbon chain length in the range of C14-17 and a chlorine content equal to or greater than 45% (by weight), commonly known as medium-chain chlorinated paraffins or MCCPs.

These chemicals are often used as lubricants and coolants in metal processing, as additives to soften plastics, and in a wide range of applications, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products, paints, sealants, and rubber. However, due to their persistence and inability to break down in the human body, they pose significant risks to human health, including cancer risks.

  • Long-chain perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCAs), their salts, and related compounds.

These chemicals belong to the family of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Due to their excellent water resistance, oil resistance, and anti-stain properties, they are widely used in industrial and consumer products, including semiconductor manufacturing, printing inks, paints and coatings, paper and food packaging, waterproof textiles, cleaning products, and firefighting foams.

The committee agreed that these chemicals could still be used in specific circumstances, and specific exemption terms will be discussed at the 2025 Conference of the Parties (COP) meeting of the Stockholm Convention.

Furthermore, the meeting also passed a risk profile on the highly toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos, widely used in agriculture. It is particularly dangerous for children and pregnant women and has adverse effects on the nervous system. In the coming year, the committee will continue to assess the socioeconomic impact and possible control measures of chlorpyrifos and consider whether to recommend its inclusion in the Convention.

Once a substance is listed in the Convention, relevant regulatory authorities in each country or organization will take measures to reduce or prohibit the emission of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) into the environment. China is also a party to the Stockholm Convention, and after the relevant substances are officially added to the annexes, China will gradually follow up, including adding them to relevant restriction lists such as the "Strictly Restricted Toxic 24小时娱乐备用网址s List," "Prohibited Import Goods Catalog," and "Prohibited Export Goods Catalog." Moreover, production companies or downstream product manufacturers related to POPs need to closely monitor the POPRC meetings and the proposed uses and downstream products of the substances discussed, promptly seek alternatives to POPs, or alternative technologies to avoid the potential impact of the Convention's lists on their businesses.

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The Stockholm Convention, adopted in 2001 and entering into force in 2004, is a global treaty that requires parties to take measures to eliminate or reduce the release of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) into the environment to protect human health and the environment. It aims to prevent chemical substances from persisting in the environment, being widely distributed, and accumulating in the fatty tissues of humans and wildlife, thus posing harmful effects on human health and the environment.

The Convention lists the first 12 chemicals as POPs in Annex A (elimination), Annex B (restriction), and Annex C (unintentional production), each with specific control requirements for elimination, restriction, or limitation. Furthermore, chemicals can be added to the Convention's Annexes through a review by the Persistent Organic Pollutants 24小时娱乐备用网址 Committee and a decision by the Conference of the Parties. As of now, the Convention's Annexes include 34 POPs, covering hundreds of related chemical substances.

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Reference

http://www.pops.int/Implementation/PublicAwareness/PressReleases/POPRC19PressRelease/tabid/9682/Default.aspx