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A Toxics-Free Future


Mexican Isthmus and POPs

Mexican Isthmus: generation of and contamination by Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

In Mexico's Northern Isthmus, the government-owned Pajaritos Petrochemical Complex in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz Mexico is the most significant source of POPs under the Stockholm Convention. In addition to the POPs found in the eggs near Pajaritos as per the egg sampling conducted under the "Global Egg Study," the Coatzacoalcos River has also been found to have PAHs, heavy metals (especially chrome, lead and mercury), organochlorine compounds, and PCBs. The report describes production processes within the Pajaritos complex such as production of vinyl chloride and the plant's plans to double production capacity and construct an incinerator for chlorinated wastes. While the plant plans to modernize, these efforts do not meet EU POPs emissions standards. The report makes several recommendations, including designating the River Basin as a POPs hotspot; establishing a POPs committee; eliminating incineration of organochlorinated wastes at the Pajaritos; conducting an epidemiological study; creating a monitoring program; and conducting a public-awareness campaign.

Detailed report describing the problem of POPs near the Pajaritos Petrochemical Complex in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz Mexico

Ambiente y Bienestar Humano and Red de Acción sobre Plaguicidas y Alternativas en México (RAPAM)