Press Release from World Wildlife Fund
April 28, 2005
WWF Lists 20 Chemicals to Be Added to POPs
Washington, DC - As delegates prepare for the first Conference
of Parties of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
(POPs), to be held next week in Uruguay, World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
today released a list of 20 chemicals that it recommends be added
to the treaty.
WWF's list of chemicals to be included for phase out includes
the pesticides chlordecone and endosulfan, several brominated
flame retardants, and perfluorinated compounds
known as PFOS and PFOA. Perfluorinated compounds are used in the
production of textiles, food packaging and non-stick coatings,
while brominated flame retardants are used in fabrics, TVs, and
"Many of these chemicals are used in everyday products such
as packaging and furniture and they all are contaminating our
environment. The sooner they are phased out, the safer we will
all be," said Clifton Curtis, Director of WWF's Global Toxics
The Stockholm Convention is an international treaty that eliminates
or severely restricts production and use of 12 of the world's
most hazardous pesticides and industrial chemicals, including
DDT, mirex, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins.
Envisioned by the international community to be a dynamic, living
treaty that responds to current realities, the Stockholm Convention
provides a rigorous scientific process through which new chemicals
that meet the POPs criteria can be added to the treaty.
"The adding mechanism is a key element of the Stockholm
Convention, and governments should not hesitate to act when there
is convincing evidence of a chemical's threat to wildlife and
human health," added Curtis. "At the same time, developed
countries need to ensure adequate financial and technical resources
to enable developing countries to meet their obligations under
the Convention, including those related to adding new chemicals."
POPs share four characteristics: they are
toxic; they are persistent, resisting normal processes that break
down contaminants; they accumulate in the body fat of people and
animals and are passed from mother to fetus; and they can travel
great distances on wind and water currents.
The Stockholm Convention entered into force in May 2004 and has
been ratified by 97 countries. The first Conference of Parties
will be held from May 2-6 in Punta del Este, Uruguay, at which
more than 120 governments and about 600 delegates will be in attendance.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The 20 additional chemicals proposed by WWF include:
7 pesticides, insecticides, biocides and fungicides: chlordecone,
hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), pentachlorophenol (PCP), endosulfan,
hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD), dicofol, methoxychlor.
5 brominated flame retardants: hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD),
hexabromobiphenyl (Hexa-BB), pentabrominated diphenyl ether (penta-BDE),
octabrominated diphenyl ether (octa-BDE), decabrominated diphenyl
2 perfluorinated compounds: perfluorooctanyl
sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid and its salts (PFOA).
4 other chlorinated chemicals or groups: pentachlorobenzene (penta-CB),
short-chained chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs), polychlorinated naphtalenes
(PCNs), tetrachlorobenzene (tetra-CB).
2 unintentionally produced chemicals: ochtachlorostyrene OCS),
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
WWF's Report, Stockholm Convention New POPs: Screening Additional
POPs Candidates is available at: www.worldwildilfe.org/toxics
Under Article 8, Convention Parties can submit proposals for
adding harmful chemicals for listing on Annexes A, B, and/or C.
The Convention calls for the establishment of a POPs Review Committee
(POPRC) to examine proposals, and at COP-1 the Parties are expected
to agree on the terms of reference for the POPRC so that it can
begin its work.
Documents for the Stockholm Convention COP-1 are available at
www.pops.int. In addition to many topic-specific documents, there
is a "Scenario Note" included (UNEP/POPS/COP.1/INF/1)
which describes required and discretionary actions facing the
Parties during the meeting.
Known in the United States as World Wildlife Fund and recognized
worldwide by its panda logo, WWF leads international efforts to
protect endangered species and their habitats and to conserve
the diversity of life on Earth. Now in its fifth decade, WWF,
the global conservation organization, works in more than 100 countries
around the world.