PFOA 2005:
April 18, 2005. WWF Lists 20 Chemicals to Be Added to POPs Treaty.

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Press Release from World Wildlife Fund

Tina Skaar

April 28, 2005

WWF Lists 20 Chemicals to Be Added to POPs Treaty

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 other products.

"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 Program.

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.


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 ether (deca-BDE).

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:

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 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.

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