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A Toxics-Free Future


IPEN Guide to New POPs

May 2009

During the negotiations, the international community understood that there
were likely to be more POPs than the twelve substances originally covered by the treaty. Therefore, the Convention established a science-based process for evaluating candidate POPs which recognizes that lack of full scientific certainty should not prevent a candidate substance from proceeding in the evaluation or listing. For COP4, an expert committee of the Convention, the POPs Review Committee (POPRC), has recommended nine new substances for listing.

When delegates discuss adding these substances, some may question the need for listing and o thers may even try to weaken the treaty by creating exemptions to continue uses that benefit certain industries. However, the Convention clearly mandates Parties to decide on listing “in a precautionary manner.” This means prioritizing the Convention’s promise to protect human health and the environment from POPs.

Experts of the POPRC have determined that each of the nine new candidate POPs is likely as a result of long-range environmental transport to lead to significant adverse effects on human health and/or the environment such that global action is warranted. All nine substances should be added to Annex A of the Convention for global elimination.

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