The “Dirty Dozen” POPs
The “Dirty Dozen”
The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants identified an initial twelve chemicals or chemical groups for priority action. Links will open a new browser window.
Chemical or Class
|Aldrin||Pesticide widely used on corn and cotton until 1970. EPA allowed its use for termites until manufacturer cancelled registration in 1987. Closely related to dieldrin.|
|Chlordane||Pesticide on agricultural crops, lawns, and gardens and a fumigant for termite control. All uses were banned in the United States in 1988 but still produced for export.|
|DDT||Pesticide still used for malaria control in the tropics. Banned for all but emergency uses in the United States in 1972.|
|Dieldrin||Pesticide widely used on corn and cotton until 1970. EPA allowed its use for termites until manufacturer cancelled registration in 1987. A breakdown product of aldrin.|
|Endrin||Used as a pesticide to control insects, rodents, and birds. Not produced or sold for general use in the United States since 1986.|
|Heptachlor||Insecticide in household and agricultural uses until 1988. Also a component and a breakdown product of chlordane.|
|Hexachlorobenzene||Pesticide and fungicide used on seeds, also an industrial byproduct. Not widely used in the United States since 1965.|
|Mirex||Insecticide and flame retardant not used or manufactured in the United States since 1978.|
|Toxaphene||Insecticide used primarily on cotton. Most uses in the U.S. were banned in 1982, and all uses in 1990.|
|PCBs||Polychlorinated biphenyls, widely used in electrical equipment and other uses. Manufacture of PCBs banned in the United States in 1977.|
|Two notorious classes of “unintentional” pollutants, byproducts of incineration and industrial processes. Regulated in the United States under air, water, food quality, occupational safety, waste, and other statutes.|
1 Adapted from the Public Heath Statements on certain chemicals by Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.