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CRC recommends international trade measures for four toxic chemicals

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2018-09-17  Views: 10
Core Tip: The Chemical Review Committee (CRC), a subsidiary body of the Rotterdam Convention, recommended international trade measures for four additional chemicals known to be harmful to human health and environment.
The Chemical Review Committee (CRC), a subsidiary body of the Rotterdam Convention, recommended international trade measures for four additional chemicals known to be harmful to human health and environment. 
 
With the goal to assist governments to make informed decisions concerning trade in pesticide and industrial chemicals, the UN Rotterdam Convention’s Chemicals Review Committee held its 14th meeting at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome recently, with chemicals experts from all the UN regions attending the meeting.
 
The four hazardous chemicals recommended to be listed are:
? The pesticide acetochlor, used for example as a herbicide on maize, known to be highly toxic to aquatic organisms and posing a high risk to birds and non-targeted plants;
? The industrial chemical hexabromocyclododecane, used, for example, in flame retardants and polystyrene foam insulation, known to be carcinogenic, neurotoxic and harmful for human development as well as toxic to both aquatic and terrestrial species;
? The pesticide phorate, which is widely used to control insects on cotton, potatoes, coffee, beans and corn. It is extremely toxic, causing lethality at low doses, and studies show poisonings and deaths amongst agricultural workers exposed to this active ingredient;
? The industrial chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts and PFOA-related compounds, widely used in domestic non-stick cooking ware and food-processing appliances, surface treatment agents in textiles, paper and paints, firefighting foams and is known to be toxic to humans and the environment with links to major health issues, such as kidney cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid disease, and pregnancy-induced hypertension
 
The decision to list these chemicals will be taken at subsequent Meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COPs), the next of which will be held in Geneva between April 29 and May 10, 2019. 
 
The meeting coincided with the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Rotterdam Convention, during which time 50 chemicals and pesticides have been listed and become subject to trade control measures.
 
Carlos Martin Novella, deputy executive secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, stressed that these recommendations will further the conventions’ joint aims of protecting human health and the environment and that over the course of its twenty years since adoption, the Rotterdam Convention has undoubtedly improved global governance on the trade in pesticides and industrial chemicals, offering as a framework, not only for information exchange, but also for capacity building, technical assistance, and a supportive climate for informed decision-making on the import and export of chemicals worldwide.
 
Christine Fuell, coordinator, Rotterdam Convention, FAO, emphasised, “The Chemical Review Committee works in a very transparent and inclusive manner, conducting its reviews independently and on science-based information only.”
 
“The Committee’s work is facilitated by a Handbook of Working Procedures and Policy Guidance, which has been also updated during this meeting to account for the new experiences of its work,” she added.
 
 
 
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