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Chemical Treaty Covers 14 More Substances

by Cheryl Hogue
September 27, 2004 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 82, Issue 39


Fourteen substances were added last week to the international agreement that requires an exporting nation to obtain advance approval from developing countries before shipping certain chemicals to them.

Treaty partners added the 14 substances to the initial 22 pesticides and five industrial chemicals covered by the 1998 Rotterdam Convention. The pact requires developing countries to give prior informed consent before they allow imports of listed materials.?

Appended to the accord were binapacryl; 4,6-dinitro-o-cresol and its salts; dustable powder pesticide formulations containing a combination of benomyl at or above 7%, carbofuran at or above 10%, and thiram at or above 15%; ethylene dichloride; ethylene oxide; monocrotophos; parathion; and toxaphene. Also added were four types of asbestos--actinolite, anthophyllite, amosite, and tremolite--and two fuel additives, tetraethyllead and tetramethyllead.

At the urging of several countries, including Canada, China, India, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe, treaty participants agreed not to include one substance proposed for listing--chrysotile asbestos. The European Union, New Zealand, Argentina, and environmental groups argued in favor of listing chrysotile, the most widely used form of asbestos.

Last week's meeting, held in Geneva, was the first official gathering of partners to the Rotterdam Convention. The U.S. has signed the accord but is not yet a treaty partner because Congress has not passed legislation making U.S. laws consistent with the pact (C&EN, March 29, page 22).


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