Issue Date: May 24, 2004
Persistent pollutant pact enters into force
The 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants officially entered into force last week. The pact initially bans or severely restricts use of 12 chemicals: aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, dioxins, eldrin, furans, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene, mirex, polychlorinated biphenyls, and toxaphene. Starting in May 2005, treaty partners will begin evaluating additional chemicals for possible control under the pact and discussing ways to curb or eliminate creation of dioxins and furans. Though it has signed the accord, the U.S. may not be an official part of next year's talks because Congress has not passed legislation that would allow the U.S. to become a partner to the treaty. The legislative snarl is due in part to controversial language pushed by the Bush Administration (C&EN, March 29, page 22). The pact has the support of the chemical industry. Greg Lebedev, president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council, said in a statement, "It is our hope that the Administration and the relevant committees in the House and the Senate can work quickly to enable the U.S. to be a full participant at the May 2005 first meeting of the Stockholm [convention] member governments."
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