Pesticides, industrial chemicals join UN treaty watch list

Pesticides, industrial chemicals to join UN treaty watch list

12:52 PM, 5th April 2011
Pesticides, industrial chemicals to join UN treaty watch list
The Rotterdam Convention prevents unwanted trade in certain hazardous chemicals.


ROME, ITALY: United Nations experts have recommended that two pesticides, one severely hazardous pesticide formulation and three industrial chemicals be added to a trade “watch list.” The chemical experts have recommended that pesticides - endosulfan and azinphos methyl - and one severely hazardous pesticide formulation - Gramoxone Super - be included in the Rotterdam Convention's Prior Informed Consent procedure. Three industrial chemicals - perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), its salts and precursors; pentaBDE commercial mixtures; and octaBDE commercial mixtures - were also recommended for inclusion. The efforts are aimed at helping poorer countries more effectively manage potentially harmful imported substances.


The formulation – Gramoxone Super – an herbicide containing paraquat dichloride, was proposed to be in the list by Burkina Faso due to the problems experienced with its use in that country. PentaBDE and octaBDE commercial mixtures are brominated flame retardants. Due to their toxicity and persistence, their industrial production is set to be eliminated under the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs).


The convention ensures that hazardous chemicals do not endanger human health and the environment but inclusion on the list is not a recommendation for an international ban or severe restriction of the use of the substance.


It is the first time since the convention entered into force in 2004 that the Chemical Review Committee has recommended adding a severely hazardous pesticide formulation to the watch list, according to a joint news release issued by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), both of which support the Convention.


The recommendations will be forwarded to the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention in Jun.

(C) UN FAO and UNEP News




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