The Stockholm Convention’s Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) has elaborated and evaluated requests to list UV-328, Dechlorane Plus and methoxychlor as POPs, inviting all parties, including the UK, to submit further information, to be considered by the convention of the parties.
The next COP meeting, to be run online only, is scheduled for July, with a face-to-face event set to follow in June 2022 in Geneva. If other parties to the convention agree, the substances would eventually be designated as persistent organic pollutants and prohibited from production, placing on the market and use, unless specific exemptions are applied.
UV-328 is a phenolic benzotriazole used to protect plastics and other products from being damaged by ultraviolet light, and is also found in sunscreens. This is despite being persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic.
Dechlorane Plus is an organochlorine flame retardant found in electric and electronic products, plastic roofing materials and others since the 1960s – and now in Arctic seawater, household dust and Baltic salmon. A meeting of POPRC in January concluded that more information was needed on its adverse effects.
In contrast, the risk profile for methoxychlor has now been agreed by POPRC, which now wishes to develop a risk management evaluation with information on socio-economic impacts of the substance. This stage will follow later for the two other substances.
The pesticide was used on field crops, fruit and livestock until 2004 and is already prohibited in the UK and EU. Comments on alternatives, impacts on society, the efficiency and efficacy of proposed control measures, costs and waste disposal are now being sought.
Comments must be submitted by 18 June 2021.
Separately, DEFRA is also proposing to submit a proposal to ban medium-chain chlorinated paraffins under the Stockholm Convention.