Pilot Project

A project initiated in 2010 under the programme sought to engage with companies and test products to verify the absence of POPs in products such as furniture, clothing, computer, electronics and plastics. Of the 50 companies contacted, 20 manufacturers and retailers responded positively to the project. Two entities have agreed on a voluntary basis to test products through a laboratory hosted by the Environment Agency of Austria.

The key criteria for being a POPs-free product was that such a product did not contain or consist of chemicals listed in Annex A, B or C of the Stockholm Convention. POPs-free was defined specifically for the pilot project and was not to be used as a definition outside of the project.

The results of the analysis determined that the products of the following two manufacturers are POPs-free according to the definitions applied in the project:

  • The National Pediculosis Association®, Inc., a non-profit organization from the United States, submitted the LiceMeister® comb. The comb is an U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared medical device to screen, detect and remove head lice and their eggs (nits). This combing tool is used instead of applying pesticides to the hair and scalp. Of particular relevance to the Convention, the LiceMeister® comb could be considered as an alternative to pharmaceutical applications containing lindane, listed under annex A of the Convention with a specific exemption.
  • A flame retardant system, entitled Paxymer™ and developed by PP Polymer AB, a Swedish company, was tested as well. The system controls the burning process, limits the impact on mechanical and processing properties and does not contain brominated flame retardants and POPs listed in Annex A, B or C of the Convention. Paxymer™ is a halogen-free flame retardant material, used in a wide number of applications, that preserves polymeric properties of base polymer and is suitable for thermoplastics.

The project was concluded in April 2011 and further information was made available to the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Stockholm Convention (COP-5) in document UNEP/POPS/COP.5/INF/34.