Geneva: Today at the Stockholm Convention 8th Conference of the Parties (COP8), governments rushed thru decisions to list two toxic chemicals, but provided extraordinary loopholes that permit all uses of them. The chemicals are DecaBDE, a flame retardant commonly found in electronic waste, and SCCPs, an industrial chemical used in metal working and as a flame retardant in plastics.1 Both chemicals are persistent, highly toxic, travel long distances and build up in the food chain. Recent IPEN studies found both substances widely present in children’s toys.2
“Delegates made a mockery of the theme of the meeting, “A Future Detoxified,” said Dr. Mariann Lloyd-Smith, IPEN Sr. Advisor. “Today’s decisions guarantee harmful worker exposures, poisonous children’s toys, contaminated recycling streams, and more waste dumping. The real theme of the meeting seems to be “A Future De-Toxified.”
Geneva: Today, at the Stockholm Convention 8th Conference of the Parties, Chile and Canada surprised delegates by proposing to allow recycling materials containing a toxic flame retardant widely found in electronic waste (e-waste). The proposal violates the Stockholm Convention which explicitly prohibits recycling and reuse of substances on its list.
DecaBDE is used in the plastic casings of electronic products and if it is not removed, it is carried into new products when the plastic is recycled. Toxicity studies indicate potential adverse developmental, neurotoxic, and reproductive effects, and DecaBDE or its degradation products may also act as endocrine disruptors.
Ironically, a new IPEN study1 shows that the toxic recycling policy advocated by these countries widely contaminates children’s products. In fact, in Canada all sampled toys made of recycled plastic contained both OctaBDE and DecaBDE.
IPEN has released a Spring 2017 Catalog for its Toxic Toy Store booth at the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conferences of the Parties currently underway in Geneva, Switzerland. The exhibit booth highlights IPEN and Partner documents, and also displays toys from around the world that IPEN tested to determine potential toxic ingredients.
IPENers are participating in the Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties (COP) to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions taking place from 24 April - 5 May, 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. Although the Stockholm Convention COP is IPEN’s main focus, IPEN will also participate in the Basel and Rotterdam Convention meetings.
This new report was prepared by IPEN to address a major source of POPs contamination of the environment that is often overlooked, underestimated or incorrectly classified in risk assessments, exposure scenarios and regulatory controls on waste. Ash and other residues from waste incineration contain dioxins, furans (PCDD/Fs) and a range of other highly toxic POPs at levels which are a threat to human health and the environment. Current management practices and regulatory threshold levels for POPs that contaminate incinerator residues are not preventing releases of POPs into agricultural settings, the food chain and the broader environment.
Pamela Miller boarded a plane Wednesday morning bound for Geneva, Switzerland, where she hopes the world will ban a chemical she believes may have killed five members of her family.
She grew up next to a plant in Ohio that produced vast quantities of short-chain chlorinated paraffins, called SCCPs. Now she is deeply involved in the international process to stop the chemical's manufacture and other persistent organic pollutants, called POPs, that especially hurt Arctic people.
Thursday, a report she co-authored with the help of an international team will be released with test results that found SCCPs in children's toys, such as rubber duckies and Mickey Mouse slippers, and in baby bibs and a hand blender for baby food, items purchased all over the world.
The chemical, used to soften plastic, has already been banned in many countries because it harms neurological development in children, as well as disrupting the endocrine system and causing liver and kidney disease and cancer.
"It's a chemical that nobody has ever heard of, yet it is produced in huge volume and it's in many products we use every day," Miller said.
A survey of children’s products in 10 countries1 finds widespread contamination with an industrial chemical recommended for global prohibition. Short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) are industrial chemicals primarily used in metalworking, but also as flame retardants and softeners in plastics. Their harmful properties have attracted global concern and a Stockholm Convention expert committee has recommended world-wide elimination of SCCPs under the treaty. SCCPs adversely affect the kidney, liver, and thyroid; disrupt endocrine function; and are anticipated to be human carcinogens.