The committee reviewed three chemicals that have been nominated as substances to be added to the Convention:
- Endosulfan: The committee reviewed and adopted the risk management evaluation on endosulfan, a widely used pesticide. It agreed that the POP characteristics of the chemical warrant global action. The committee finalized a recommendation to the Conference of the Parties (COP) for its consideration on listing in Annex A of the Convention. Endosulfan is used on many crops such as soy, cotton, rice, and tea. It is highly toxic to humans and many other animals and has been found in the environment, including the Arctic.
- Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD): The committee reviewed and adopted the risk profile on HBCD, a chemical Norway proposed to list under the Convention. HBCD is a flame retardant used mainly in expanded and extruded polystyrene. It is also used in textile coatings and in high impact polystyrene for electrical and electronic equipment. The committee considered the information provided and concluded that HBCD, due to its adverse effects, persistence, bioaccumulation and long-range transport, should proceed to the risk management phase, the next step in the committee’s review process.
- Short-chained chlorinated paraffins (SCCP): The committee reviewed the revised risk profile and decided to postpone any decision-making. In the meantime, it will gather additional information on its environmental and health effects and trends in the levels in the environment to assist decision-making at its eighth meeting. SCCP are a group of industrial chemicals used in metalworking, and the formulation and manufacturing of products such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics and metalworking fluids. They are of concern because they are persistent, have been found in remote areas such as the Arctic, and could accumulate to levels that are toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms.
The committee recommended that the Parties to the Convention review a global study under preparation on persistent organic pollutants and climate change at its fifth Conference of the Parties. The POPRC also reviewed information on the nine POPs that were listed in August 2010, including perfluorooctane sulfonates (PFOS) and brominated flame retardants, and undertook technical review of the implications of recycling bromodiphenyl ethers (BDEs) as part of the new POPs work programme. The committee also finalized its guidelines on alternatives to PFOS and discussed other technical issues such as the proposal for the evaluation of the toxicological interaction of multiple chemicals. The POPRC will report its conclusions and make recommendations to the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP5) to be held from 25 to 29 April 2011 in Geneva.