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Stockholm Convention

The Stockholm Convention is a globally binding international treaty that aims to eliminate or restrict the production, use, storage, trade and storage of Persistent Organic Pollutants (PoPs). The initiative for this was taken by the governing council of the United Nation Environmental Program (UNEP) in 1995 and the negotiations for the Convention were completed on 23 May, 2001. The convention came into the force on May 17, 2004. India ratified the convention 0n 13 January 2006 and came into the force o 12 April 2006.

Importance of Stockholm Convention

Because of the risks posed by the long-range transport of PoPs, the international community had been calling for global action to reduce and eliminate release of these chemicals. Therefore, Stockholm Convention is an important step towards minimizing risks from the impact of toxics persistent organic pollutants.

Listing of Chemicals in Stockholm convention

There are 22 Persistent Organic Pollutants (PoPs) listed in the Stockholm Convention.

Initially 12 PoPs called as “Dirty Dozen” were banned by the Stockholm convention. These are Aldrin, Chlordane, DDT, Dieldrin, Endrin, Heptachlor, Hexachlorobenzene, Mirex, Toxaphene, which are being used as pesticides. The hexachlorobenzene, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are used for industrial chemicals. Further Hexachlorobenzene; polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (dioxins) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDF) (furans), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are released unintentionally as the by products.

In 2009, nine new PoPs, chlordecone, alpha hexachlorocyclohexane, beta hexachlorocyclohexane, lindane, pentachlorobenzene used as pesticides have been listed as PoPs. Following industrial chemicals hexabromobiphenyl, hexabromodiphenyl ether and heptabromodiphenyl ether, pentachlorobenzene, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride, tetrabromodiphenyl ether and pentabromodiphenyl ether have been listed as PoPs. And Alpha hexachlorocyclohexane, beta hexachlorocyclohexane and pentachlorobenzeneare by products.

In 2011, Endosulphan, widely used as pesticides in India, has been listed as PoPs in the Convention.

The chemicals targeted in the Stockholm Convention, have been listed in the annexes of the convention text:

Annex A (Elimination): Parties must take measures to eliminate the production and use of the chemicals listed under Annex A. Specific exemptions for use or production are listed in the Annex and apply only to Parties that register for them.

Chemicals Listed in Annexure A:

Aldrin, Chlordane, Chlordecone, Dieldrin, Endrin, Heptachlor, Hexabromophenyl, Hexabrmobiphelyether, Hexachlorbenzene, Alpha hexachlorocyclohexane, Beta hexachlorocyclohexan, Lindane , Mirex , Pentachlorobenzene, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), Technical endosulfan and its related isomers, Tetrabromobiphenyl ether, Toxaphere

Annex B (Restriction): Parties must take measures to restrict the production and use of the chemicals listed under Annex B in light of any applicable acceptable purposes and/or specific exemptions listed in the Annex.

Chemicals Listed in Annexure B:

DDT, Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride Annex C (Unintentional Production): Parties must take measures to reduce the unintentional releases of chemicals listed under Annex C with the goal of continuing minimization and where feasible, ultimate elimination.

Chemicals Listed in Annexure C: Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDD), Polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDF), Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Pentachlorobenzene, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB).

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