POPRC-19 - Day 1 highlights

The 19th meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC-19) officially started today in Rome, at the FAO Headquarters. Over a hundred participants representing experts in chemicals assessment and management, government observers, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations are participating in this meeting.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Rolph Payet (Executive Secretary of the BRS Conventions) highlighted that the scientific work under the Convention has triggered and further catalysed POPs scientific research activities worldwide. He drew to the attention of the meeting that the Conference of the Parties has adopted all of the POPs Review Committee’s recommendations for listing chemicals, noting that this was an impressive track record. He also drew attention to the vital role played by the Committee in informing Parties’ decisions as a great example of how science can support policy makers on informed decisions.

This 5-day (Oct 9th-13th) meeting, to be chaired by Dr Peter Dawson (New Zealand), aims to consider several topics:

Draft Risk Profiles

On the first day, members and observer exchanged views on the persistence, bioaccumulation, and long-range environmental transport of the pesticide, chlorpyrifos. The POPRC will continue to consider the draft risk profile for this chemical in a contact group in the coming days.

Draft risk management evaluation

The POPRC is tasked to consider the draft risk management evaluation for chlorinated paraffins with carbon chain lengths in the range C14-17 and chlorination levels at or exceeding 45 per cent chlorine by weight (MCCPs), and draft risk management evaluation for long-chain perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCAs). After presentations made by the chairs of the drafting groups and the initial proponents, the Committee exchanged views and agreed to further continue the work within contact groups.

Long-range environmental transport

The POPRC will consider a draft document on long-range environmental transport, intended to provide guidance when evaluating chemicals proposed for listing under the Stockholm Convention.

POPs in stockpiles, products and articles

As requested at the last meeting of the Conference of the Parties, the POPRC will explore options for identifying POPs in stockpiles, products and articles in use and in wastes, to support Parties. 

Indicative lists of POPs

The POPRC will also work on further updating and refining indicative lists of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts, and PFOA-related compounds and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), its salts and PFHxS-related compounds.

On the first day, the meeting also heard about the outcomes of the eleventh meeting of the COP, which took place in May 2023 and had initial exchanges about the Chlorinated paraffins with carbon chain lengths in the range C14–17 and chlorination levels at or exceeding 45 per cent chlorine by weight.

Contact groups discussions continued on LC-PFCAs and Chlorpyrifos into the evening.