Seventh meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC.7)

Geneva, Switzerland
from 10 to 14 October 2011

The Seventh meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) was held at the Varembé Conference Centre.

The Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) adopted twelve decisions at its seventh meeting, including one recommending that the chemical hexabromocyclododecane be listed under the Convention. The Committee also decided that chlorinated naphthalenes and hexachlorobutadiene, two chemicals proposed for listing under the convention, met the screening criteria of Annex D of the convention and to prepare draft risk profiles for these chemicals. The Committee agreed to continue its evaluation of a third chemical, pentachlorophenol and its salts and esters. The Committee also concurred to work on a number of other issues during the intersessional period, including the assessment of alternatives to endosulfan, DDT and use of PFOS in open applications, toxic interactions, SCCP, and climate change and POPs.

Highlights

The Committee reviewed five chemicals that have been nominated as substances to be added to the Convention:

  • Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD): The Committee reviewed and adopted the risk management evaluation on HBCD and recommended to the Conference of the Parties that it consider listing the chemical in Annexes A, B and/or C to the Convention. The Committee also decided to collect further information on chemical alternatives to HBCD and on the production and use of HBCD. At its eighth meeting, the Committee will consider whether to specify the annex to the Convention and possible exemptions to be considered by the Conference of the Parties in listing HBCD. The chemical, a flame retardant used mainly in polystyrene, was proposed for listing under the Convention by Norway in 2008. HBCD is also used in textile coatings and in high impact polystyrene for electrical and electronic equipment.
  • Chlorinated naphthalenes (CN): The Committee examined the proposal by the European Union to list CN under the Convention and applied the screening criteria specified in Annex D. It decided that CN, except for monochlorinated naphthalene, met the screening criteria of Annex D of the convention and to prepare a draft risk profile. CN were used for decades for wood preservation, as additive to paints and engine oils, and for cable insulation and in capacitors. Until the 1970s, CN were high volume chemicals.
  • Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD): The Committee also examined the proposal by the European Union to list hexachlorobutadiene under the Convention and decided that it met the screening criteria of Annex D and to prepare a draft risk profile. HCBD was a widely used fumigant used to control pests and as an industrial solvent. HCBD also occurs as a by-product during production of other chlorinated solvents.
  • Pentachlorophenol (PCP) and its salts and esters: Concerning the third chemical proposed for listing under the Convention by the European Union, the Committee came to the conclusion that it would defer its consideration until its eighth meeting. An intersessional working group would additionally review studies on the fate and transport of pentachlorophenol and pentachloroanisole. PCP is an organochlorine compound used as a pesticide and a disinfectant.
  • Short-chained chlorinated paraffins (SCCP): The Committee agreed to revise the relevant parts of the draft risk profile to incorporate information on toxicological interactions of chlorinated paraffins during the intersessional period, and to compile issues and principles to be applied in the interpretation of the Annex E criteria. 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.

The Committee also concurred to assess alternatives to endosulfan, DDT and PFOS in open applications, expanding its work into a new area recently mandated by the Parties to the Convention. The Committee will furthermore continue existing work on guidance on alternatives to PFOS and its derivatives; the work programme on brominated diphenyl ethers and PFOS, its salts and PFOSF; developing a draft approach to consideration of toxicological interactions when evaluating chemicals proposed for listing; and enhancing effective participation in the Committee’s work. Besides, the Committee examined implications of the 2011 study, Climate Change and POPs: Predicting the Impacts and agreed to develop guidance on evaluating how global warming processes affect the fate, transport and toxicity of POPs.

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POPRC.7 Photo Gallery

Photo gallery: Seventh meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC7)
Seventh meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC)
Geneva, Switzerland
10 - 14 October 2011