International Actions to Protect Health and Environment: A Report from the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

May 21, 2015 @ 9:00am (AKDT)

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is a global treaty to eliminate the world’s most dangerous chemicals. Parties to the convention meet every two years to decide which additional chemicals should be added to the original “dirty dozen” banned chemicals. This May, world leaders will decide if pentachlorophenol (PCP), a pesticide still used as a wood preservative for utility poles (primarily in the U.S. and Canada) should be banned. PCP is a persistent and ubiquitous contaminant found in the breast milk, blood, amniotic fluid, adipose tissue, and seminal fluid of people throughout the world, including Indigenous peoples of the Arctic. Exposure to PCP is associated with damage to the developing brain and nervous system, impairment of memory and learning, disruption to thyroid function, immune suppression, infertility, and increased risk of certain cancers such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma. On this call we heard firsthand from representatives of an Indigenous delegation and of Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) who participated in the Seventh Conference of Parties to the Convention (COP7) meeting in Geneva in early May. Find out what governments around the world decided regarding a global ban of PCP and two additional highly toxic substances.

Featured speakers

Pamela K. Miller, Executive Director, Alaska Community Action on Toxics

Vi Waghiyi, Environmental Health and Justice Program Director, Alaska Community Action on Toxics

Rochelle Diver, Environmental Health Program Coordinator, International Indian Treaty Council

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