ACAT delegation in Geneva seeking worldwide ban of three industrial chemicals that are harming the Arctic and its people

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First up are Short-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (SCCPs), which are probable human carcinogens, disrupt the endocrine system, and cause kidney, liver, and thyroid damage

Short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) are widely used industrial chemicals used primarily in metalworking. They are used as plasticizers and flame retardants in consumer products, especially in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, adhesives, and paints.

No other persistent organic pollutant has been produced in quantities as large as SCCPs. And their production and use is increasing. SCCPs are ubiquitous in the global environment, wildlife, and humans. They are persistent, bioaccumulative, and transported long distances to remote locations, including the Arctic and Antarctic.

SCCPs adversely affect the kidney, liver, and thyroid and disrupt endocrine function. They cause cancer in animals and are anticipated to be human carcinogens. They are highly toxic to aquatic organisms at low concentrations.

SCCPs are found in fish, seals, walrus, and whales of the Arctic that serve as traditional foods of Indigenous peoples. SCCPs are also found in the breast milk of Arctic Inuit women.

Their harmful properties have attracted global concern and a Stockholm Convention expert committee has recommended world-wide elimination of SCCPs under the treaty. Governments will vote on global prohibition of SCCPs at the 8th Conference of the Parties in Geneva later this week.

ACAT’s Executive Director and co-chair of International POPs Elimination Network, Pam Miller, testified in favor of the ban on Tuesday. She was joined by Carol Nagaruk of Elim, Alaska, a member of the Alaska Native Women’s Delegation who travelled to Geneva to bear witness to the deliberations.

 

Pamela Miller’s testimony can be found here.

Carol Nagaruk’s testimony can be found here.

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