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Corporate Overview

The Standard – August 2016

New POPs Chemicals Added to the Stockholm Convention in 2015

The 7th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP), the governing body of the Stockholm Convention, was held in May of 2015, in Geneva, Switzerland. Many decisions were adopted during the two weeks of the COP session, including the decision to add several new chemical pollutants as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) within the Convention.   
Following previous work in 2013 and 2014, the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC), a subsidiary body to the Stockholm Convention, had proposed three new POPs to be included in the Stockholm Convention: Hexachlorobutadiene, Pentachlorophenol, and Polychlorinated Naphthalenes
During the 7th COP meeting, the parties were presented with the proposal to add Hexachlorobutadiene, Pentachlorophenol, and Polychlorinated Naphthalenes (PCNs) to the Convention. After significant discussions, the COP agreed to adopt the following decisions:
Hexachlorobutadiene – added to Annex A, with no exemptions
Pentachlorophenol – added to Annex A, with specific exemptions
Allowed for specific registered parties
Allowed for use in utility poles and cross-arms in accordance with the provisions of Annex A
Polychlorinated Naphthalenes – added to Annex A and Annex C, with specific exemptions
Allowed for use as intermediates in the production of Polyfluorinated Naphthalenes, including Octafluoronaphthalene
NOTE: Polychlorinated Naphthalenes includes only dichloro-, trichloro-, tetrachloro-,
pentachloro-, hexachloro-, heptachloro-, and octachloro- naphthalenes. Monochloronaphthalenes are not included in the COP 7 decision. 
The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants was established in 2001 and entered into force in 2004. This global treaty was developed to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants, aka POPs. Stockholm Convention POPs are distinguished by four main characteristics: 1) long-term persistence; 2) distribution across wide boundaries; 3) bioaccumulation through the food web; and 4) toxicity to both humans and wildlife.
Initially the convention listed 12 chemicals as POPs due to their ability to cause adverse effects in humans and the environment:
Pesticides: Aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, chlordane, heptachlor, mirex, DDT, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and toxaphene
Industrial chemicals: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), and HCB
Unintentional by-products: Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (dioxin), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (furan), HCB, and PCBs   
In May of 2009, the Conference of the Parties (COP) held its fourth meeting, and agreed that the first “dirty dozen” chemicals would be joined by a new set of nine chemicals to be listed as POPs:
Pesticides: Chlordecone (aka kepone), alpha-hexachlorocyclohexane (α-HCH), beta-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH), gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane (γ-HCH or lindane), and pentachlorobenzene
Industrial chemicals: Hexabromobiphenyl, pentachlorobenzene, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid and its salts (PFOS) and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride, tetrabromodiphenyl ether and pentabromodiphenyl ether (tetraBDE and pentaBDE), and hexabromodiphenyl ether and heptabromodiphenyl ether (hexaBDE and heptaBDE) 
Unintentional by-products: α-HCH, β-HCH, and pentachlorobenzene
At the 5th meeting in May of 2011, the COP agreed to add Endosulfan and its related isomers to Annex A of the Convention, with a specific exemption for production by certain registered parties, for use in crop-pest complexes. 
At the 6th meeting in May of 2013, the COP further added Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) to Annex A of the Convention, again with specific exemptions for registered parties using expanded polystyrene and extruded polystyrene in building materials, with the provision that the parties take measures to ensure these materials containing HBCD be easily identified by labeling or other means throughout their life cycle.
The Stockholm Convention categorizes POPs into three Annexes as follows:
Annex A (Elimination): Parties to the convention must take steps to eliminate the production and use of the chemicals listed under Annex A
• Aldrin • Chlordane • Chlordecone (Kepone)
• Dieldrin • Endrin • Heptachlor
• Hexabromobiphenyl • Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) • Hexabromodiphenyl ether and heptabromodiphenyl ether
• Hexachlorobenzene • Hexachlorobutadiene
• α-Hexachlorocyclohexane (α-HCH)
• β-Hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH) • γ-Hexachlorocyclohexane (Lindane) • Mirex
• Pentachlorobenzene • Pentachlorophenol and its salts and esters • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
• Polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs) • Technical Endosulfan and its related isomers • Tetrabromodiphenyl ether and pentabromodiphenyl ether
• Toxaphene    
Annex B (Restriction): Parties to the Convention must take steps to restrict the production and use of the chemicals listed in Annex B
• DDT • PFOS   
Annex C (Unintentional Production): Parties to the Convention must take steps to reduce the unintentional releases of chemicals listed in Annex C 
• Dioxins      • Hexachlorobenzene • PCBs        
• Furans • Pentachlorobenzene • Polychlorinated Naphthalenes       

For more information about the Stockholm Convention please visit their website at

 1 The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs): “What are POPs”



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