At their 2011 Conference of Parties, nations of the world agreed to add endosulfan to the Stockholm Convention’s list of banned chemicals, making it the 22nd persistent organic pollutant (POP) to be listed by the convention. For most uses the ban will take effect in mid 2012, but use on a short list of crop-pest combinations will be phased out over a six-year period

Endosulfan, an antiquated insecticide, has been linked to birth defects, mental retardations, and deaths in farm workers, and – like DDT – travels on wind and ocean currents to the Arctic where it contaminates the environment and traditional foods.

Several studies have shown ongoing deposition of endosulfan in the Arctic due to continued use at lower latitudes. Endosulfan remains one of the most common organochlorine contaminants in Arctic air. According to Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) data, the Yukon region of Alaska historically has some of the highest endosulfan concentrations in circumpolar Arctic air, most likely due to global transport from the contiguous United States and Asia.

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