POPs in the news

21/03/2022 -

The Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) is a key piece of European Union legislation on pollution, regulating around 50,000 industrial installations in Europe. It was meant to achieve a high-level of protection for the health of humans and the environment but despite its strong potential, EU Member States and industry have used broad interpretations and exploited loopholes to shirk their responsibilities. More:


Mythbusting the Industrial Emissions Directive

The Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) is a key piece of European Union legislation on pollution, regulating around 50,000 industrial installations in Europe. It was meant to achieve a high-level of protection for the health of humans and the environment but despite its strong potential, EU Member States and industry have used broad interpretations and exploited loopholes to shirk their responsibilities. More:

17/03/2022 -

No person is an island, and neither are hazardous chemicals. We are all being exposed to a virtual “cocktail” of hundreds – if not thousands – of potentially harmful substances every day. The cocktail effect needs to be considered when regulating substances of concern and calculating limit values. More:

Chemical Cocktails and Regulation Chemical Cocktails and Endocrine Disruption

The sober way to tackle the cocktail effect

No person is an island, and neither are hazardous chemicals. We are all being exposed to a virtual “cocktail” of hundreds – if not thousands – of potentially harmful substances every day. The cocktail effect needs to be considered when regulating substances of concern and calculating limit values. More:

Chemical Cocktails and Regulation Chemical Cocktails and Endocrine Disruption
17/03/2022 -

The Safe and Sustainable by Design (SSbD) criteria could be the engine to move the whole economy away from hazardous chemicals and towards a more sustainable future. But it is important that it is just that and not simply a paper exercise – or worse: a tool for greenwashing. More:


The Big Five that can accelerate The Safe and Sustainable by Design criteria

The Safe and Sustainable by Design (SSbD) criteria could be the engine to move the whole economy away from hazardous chemicals and towards a more sustainable future. But it is important that it is just that and not simply a paper exercise – or worse: a tool for greenwashing. More:

16/03/2022 -

According to the European Environmental Agency, we only have thorough information on the properties of 500 chemicals out of the 100,000 chemicals on the market. Meanwhile, industrial chemicals are omnipresent in the food we eat, the water we drink and the products we use daily at home and at work. This consistent exposure to the complex, potentially toxic mix of chemicals is linked to fuelling growing rates of cancer, reproductive disorders, and other modern-age metabolic diseases. More:

Chemical cocktails and health effects Effects on biodiversity EU Regulation

Walking the EU’s talk on a toxic-free environment – PART 1

According to the European Environmental Agency, we only have thorough information on the properties of 500 chemicals out of the 100,000 chemicals on the market. Meanwhile, industrial chemicals are omnipresent in the food we eat, the water we drink and the products we use daily at home and at work. This consistent exposure to the complex, potentially toxic mix of chemicals is linked to fuelling growing rates of cancer, reproductive disorders, and other modern-age metabolic diseases. More:

Chemical cocktails and health effects Effects on biodiversity EU Regulation
10/03/2022 -

Higher levels of exposure to toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” may increase the likelihood of Covid-19 infection, more serious symptoms and death, a group of recent studies have found. Public health advocates and researchers have feared since the coronavirus pandemic’s onset that PFAS, which are known to be immunotoxic, could hinder the body’s ability to fight Covid-19. More:

PFAS and Covid-19 Water contamination Human exposure to PFAS

Higher levels of PFAS exposure may increase chance of Covid, studies say

Higher levels of exposure to toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” may increase the likelihood of Covid-19 infection, more serious symptoms and death, a group of recent studies have found. Public health advocates and researchers have feared since the coronavirus pandemic’s onset that PFAS, which are known to be immunotoxic, could hinder the body’s ability to fight Covid-19. More:

PFAS and Covid-19 Water contamination Human exposure to PFAS
10/03/2022 -

A UN expert has warned of the creation of pollution “sacrifice zones” across the world, where tens of millions of people are suffering strokes, cancers, respiratory problems and heart disease as a result of toxic contamination of the environment. More:

Human Rights and Environment

Millions suffering in deadly pollution ‘sacrifice zones’, warns UN expert

A UN expert has warned of the creation of pollution “sacrifice zones” across the world, where tens of millions of people are suffering strokes, cancers, respiratory problems and heart disease as a result of toxic contamination of the environment. More:

Human Rights and Environment
10/03/2022 -

Agricultural pesticides were among the toxic pollutants found in the study, including the herbicide glyphosate and endocrine disruptors. Both these substances damage the environment, animals and plants, and have adverse effects on human health, with links to cancers and developmental disorders. More:

Regulation Water contamination

Toxic Rivers and the EU's Pesticide Problem

Agricultural pesticides were among the toxic pollutants found in the study, including the herbicide glyphosate and endocrine disruptors. Both these substances damage the environment, animals and plants, and have adverse effects on human health, with links to cancers and developmental disorders. More:

Regulation Water contamination
09/03/2022 -

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials reversed their previous finding that a widely used and highly toxic pesticide could jeopardize dozens of plants and animals with extinction, after receiving pledges from chemical manufacturers that they will change product labels for malathion so that it’s used more carefully by gardeners, farmers and other consumers. More:


US officials reverse course on pesticide’s harm to wildlife

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials reversed their previous finding that a widely used and highly toxic pesticide could jeopardize dozens of plants and animals with extinction, after receiving pledges from chemical manufacturers that they will change product labels for malathion so that it’s used more carefully by gardeners, farmers and other consumers. More:

08/03/2022 -

Scientists in Kenya have discovered an organic way of protecting potatoes from the invasive and highly destructive potato cyst nematodes that attack planted seed causing major yield and financial losses. More:


Banana waste wrap could help save potatoes

Scientists in Kenya have discovered an organic way of protecting potatoes from the invasive and highly destructive potato cyst nematodes that attack planted seed causing major yield and financial losses. More:

08/03/2022 -

On 2 March, world leaders and environment ministers agreed to start negotiations on the world’s first legally binding international treaty to eliminate one of humanity’s most devastating sources of pollution: plastics. This hugely positive step has the power to attack the problem as never before. But to achieve this goal, science needs to be front and centre in the negotiations. More:


Landmark treaty on plastic pollution must put scientific evidence front and centre

On 2 March, world leaders and environment ministers agreed to start negotiations on the world’s first legally binding international treaty to eliminate one of humanity’s most devastating sources of pollution: plastics. This hugely positive step has the power to attack the problem as never before. But to achieve this goal, science needs to be front and centre in the negotiations. More:

07/03/2022 -

Toxic PFAS are often added into consumer products to make items stain- or water-resistant. But mounting evidence indicates that many products made without the intentional addition of PFAS are also contaminated. More:

PFAS in Food Packaging

Unintentional PFAS in products: A “jungle” of contamination

Toxic PFAS are often added into consumer products to make items stain- or water-resistant. But mounting evidence indicates that many products made without the intentional addition of PFAS are also contaminated. More:

PFAS in Food Packaging
04/03/2022 -

A tiny, poppy seed-sized particle of plastic might seem innocuous on its own. But when a speck of plastic is coupled with organic pollutants, the chemical makeup of that plastic can swell with toxicity. More:


Microplastics plus organic pollutants equals 10 times the toxicity, study finds

A tiny, poppy seed-sized particle of plastic might seem innocuous on its own. But when a speck of plastic is coupled with organic pollutants, the chemical makeup of that plastic can swell with toxicity. More:

03/03/2022 -

In front of the United Nations African headquarters in Nairobi, a 30-foot-high artwork featuring a faucet “spewing” a long stream of plastic waste dramatically illustrates the worsening flow of plastic fouling the world. Inside the main hall, 175 UN delegates took the first formal steps to turn off the tap. They agreed to negotiate the first comprehensive global treaty to curb plastic pollution—a move hailed as the most significant environmental agreement since the Paris climate accord in 2015. More:


The world’s nations agree to fix the plastic waste crisis

In front of the United Nations African headquarters in Nairobi, a 30-foot-high artwork featuring a faucet “spewing” a long stream of plastic waste dramatically illustrates the worsening flow of plastic fouling the world. Inside the main hall, 175 UN delegates took the first formal steps to turn off the tap. They agreed to negotiate the first comprehensive global treaty to curb plastic pollution—a move hailed as the most significant environmental agreement since the Paris climate accord in 2015. More:

03/03/2022 -

Five decades ago in an opera house in Stockholm Sweden, world leaders opened discussions that would lead to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Since that meeting on 5 June 1972, UNEP has become the world's leading advocate for nature, using science, diplomacy and public outreach to counter a range of threats, from pollution to climate change. Here's a closer look at UNEP's work over the last 50 years and how it's helping to make the planet a more sustainable, equitable place. More:


50 years of environmental milestones

Five decades ago in an opera house in Stockholm Sweden, world leaders opened discussions that would lead to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Since that meeting on 5 June 1972, UNEP has become the world's leading advocate for nature, using science, diplomacy and public outreach to counter a range of threats, from pollution to climate change. Here's a closer look at UNEP's work over the last 50 years and how it's helping to make the planet a more sustainable, equitable place. More:

03/03/2022 -

Plastic is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, and the additives used to enhance this deceptively versatile material are often hazardous to human health. All the while, the plastics industry makes sure the demand – that they invented in the first place – keeps growing. Calling plastic the super-villain of chemical products is no exaggeration. But how did we end up in this dystopian tale? And what heroic measures can get us out of it? More:


Will plastic – the super-villain of chemical products – cause the climate and human health to snap?

Plastic is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, and the additives used to enhance this deceptively versatile material are often hazardous to human health. All the while, the plastics industry makes sure the demand – that they invented in the first place – keeps growing. Calling plastic the super-villain of chemical products is no exaggeration. But how did we end up in this dystopian tale? And what heroic measures can get us out of it? More:

03/03/2022 -

For the first time, the international community has agreed on a framework to curb the world’s growing plastic problem. A resolution adopted Wednesday by the United Nations lays out an ambitious plan for developing a legally binding treaty to “end plastic pollution.” More:


U.N. adopts historic resolution aimed at ending plastic pollution

For the first time, the international community has agreed on a framework to curb the world’s growing plastic problem. A resolution adopted by the United Nations lays out an ambitious plan for developing a legally binding treaty to “end plastic pollution.” More:

02/03/2022 -

Why a new treaty? The world produces 400 million tonnes of plastic every year. Less than 10 per cent is being recycled and the rest ends up incinerated, dumped in a landfill or in the ocean and other ecosystems. With plastic production expected to double in the next 20 years, plastic pollution is also set to worsen. More:


A new global treaty to tackle plastic pollution?

Why a new treaty? The world produces 400 million tonnes of plastic every year. Less than 10 per cent is being recycled and the rest ends up incinerated, dumped in a landfill or in the ocean and other ecosystems. With plastic production expected to double in the next 20 years, plastic pollution is also set to worsen. More:

28/02/2022 -

Chemists and chemical engineers could certainly do more to align their molecular machinery with sustainable development. An obvious place to begin is in the classroom by transforming the way chemistry is taught. An international network of motivated teachers and educators are looking to do just that through promoting a concept deemed green and sustainable chemistry education. More:


Chemistry has much to learn from indigenous insights on sustainability

Chemists and chemical engineers could certainly do more to align their molecular machinery with sustainable development. An obvious place to begin is in the classroom by transforming the way chemistry is taught. An international network of motivated teachers and educators are looking to do just that through promoting a concept deemed green and sustainable chemistry education. More:

28/02/2022 -

Once called “the world’s parliament on the environment,” the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) has a unique role in global environmental governance. UNEA is an initiator or catalyst. It identifies emerging issues and (hopefully) agrees to the next steps for learning about and addressing these issues. More:


The United Nations Environment Assembly’s Role as a Governance Architect

Once called “the world’s parliament on the environment,” the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) has a unique role in global environmental governance. UNEA is an initiator or catalyst. It identifies emerging issues and (hopefully) agrees to the next steps for learning about and addressing these issues. More:

27/02/2022 -

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a family of man-made chemicals used for their water- and stain-resistant qualities in products like clothing and carpet, nonstick cookware, packaging and firefighting foam. The family includes 5,000 compounds, which are persistent, remaining both in the environment and human body over time. More:


Here's what you should know about how to remove 'forever chemicals' from your drinking water

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a family of man-made chemicals used for their water- and stain-resistant qualities in products like clothing and carpet, nonstick cookware, packaging and firefighting foam. The family includes 5,000 compounds, which are persistent, remaining both in the environment and human body over time. More:

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