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The ABCs of POPs

The ABCs of POPs



The first Conference of the Parties, a formal meeting of countries that have ratified or acceded to an international agreement. For the Stockholm Treaty COP1 was held in Punta del Este, Uruguay on May 2-6, 2005.


The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the principal federal law for regulating agricultural chemicals (along with the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act)


Hexabromobiphenyl, a brominated flame retardant banned in the U.S. and Europe.


Hexachlorocyclohexane, a neurotoxic organochlorine pesticide that can affect reproduction, liver function, and the immune system. Lindane is one form of HCH.


The Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, a regional agreement under the UN Economic Commission for Europe (for most of eastern and western Europe, Russia, the United States, and Canada) includes a 1998 POPs Protocol restricting Stockholm’s “Dirty Dozen” and four others.


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, a broad class of chemicals built on multiple benzene rings, such as benzo(a)pyrene.


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers, a class of chemicals added to many consumer and industrial products to reduce fire hazards. Penta-, octa- and deca- are commercial mixtures names for the predominant number of bromine atoms per molecule.


Persistent bioaccumulative toxics, a loosely defined class of chemicals that are long-lived, likely to concentrate in the fatty tissue of living organisms, and potentially harmful.


Prior informed consent, a central feature of the Rotterdam Convention, an international agreement on government-to-government notification of imports of banned or restricted substances, especially pesticides


Persistent organic pollutants, a subset of PBTs. Chemists define “organic” as the chemistry of carbon, as opposed to metals, minerals, and other “inorganics.”


The POPs Review Committee is an international scientific body established under the Stockholm Convention to evaluate nominations of additional POPs to be added to the treaty


The Toxic Substances Control Act, the 1976 U.S. federal law intended to regulate existing and new industrial chemicals