The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is a living treaty created to remove known and potential persistent organic pollutants from global use. The Stockholm Convention has been ratified by 179 nations. Notably, the United States has not ratified the treaty and therefore is not a “party” to the treaty.
- International Indian Treaty Council
- Stockholm Convention
- Conference of Parties (COP6)
- International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN)
Chemicals Banned Under the Stockholm Convention
The 2001 Stockholm Convention identified twelve chemicals known as the “deadly dozen” to be removed from worldwide use. These include DDT, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, furans, and the pesticides aldrin, chlordane, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), mirex and toxaphene.
The Convention is based on the precautionary principle. Its real strength is the inclusion of provisions to add new POPs chemicals that meet scientific criteria for persistence, bioaccumulation, adverse effects, and long-range transport.
At their 2009 Conference of Parties signatories to the treaty agreed to phase out nine additional highly dangerous chemicals, the first time new chemicals have been added to the original twelve. In 2011, nations agreed to phase out the antiquated insecticide endosulfan.
Alaska Community Action on Toxics and other organizations belonging to the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN) were instrumental in ensuring the addition of the nine new chemicals in 2009 and endosulfan in 2011.
ACAT Supports Strong Implementation of the Stockholm Convention:
- We sent an Arctic Indigenous delegation to Geneva, Switzerland for the biennial Conference of Parties in May 2009 to present firsthand about the effects of persistent chemicals in the Arctic. Testimonies from our delegation have been instrumental in promoting the global ban of additional chemicals.
- We participate as an official observer at the annual POPs Review Committee, the scientific committee that reviews, evaluates, and makes recommendations for the addition of new POPs according to provisions of the Stockholm Convention.
- We prepare scientific documentation of environmental and health effects of new chemicals being considered by the POPs Review Committee to support inclusion under provisions of the treaty.
- We publish reports:
- Lindane: Pharmaceutical and Agricultural Alternatives. Report to United Nations (2009)
- Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Arctic. Report to the United Nations (2009)
- We remind our national leaders that the long-range transport of contaminants to Alaska is of international concern and we urge U.S. participation and leadership internationally through the Stockholm Convention.