Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)


By Michael J. Lynch, University of South Florida, FL


The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (see POP entry in this dictionary) was created in 2001 (effective 2004) as an international treaty to address the elimination and restriction of the production of persistent organic pollutants (POPS). POPs are of particular environmental concern because they tend to be stable and persist in the environment of long periods of time, allowing them to aggregate to high concentrations. Moreover, because POPs are lipid soluble, they tend to bioaccumulate.

The United Nations began to direct attention towards addressing POPs in the mid-1990s. Following a series of meeting, the UN identified the most serious POPs, a list called “the dirty dozen.” The dirty dozen includes six pesticides, three insecticides and three industrials wastes as follows: (1) pesticides: Aldrin, Chlordane, DDT, Deldrin, Endrin, and Hexachlorbenzene; (2) insecticides: heptachlor, Mere, and Toxaphene; and (3) industrial waste: polychlorinated biphenyls, polychlorinated dioxins, and polychlorinated furans. Co-signatory nations to the agreement agreed to ban nine of these twelve chemicals. As with many other international environmental treaties, the United States refused to ratify the Stockholm Convention.

The text of the Convention may be found HERE.

Parties to the agreement and signatory nations may be found HERE.

Further Reading


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