Issue Date: July 4, 2011
Chemical Imports Shipments of three pesticides require countries’ consent
The 143 countries that are partners to the global treaty added the three pesticides to a list of 40 other chemicals covered by that accord. The 1998 Rotterdam Convention requires importing countries to give their consent to accept shipments of substances listed under the treaty before exporting nations send the chemicals.
At a five-day meeting in Geneva, treaty partners also considered adding chrysotile asbestos to the substances controlled under the convention. But the fibrous mineral did not make the list because a handful of countries, including Canada, a major producer of this type of asbestos, objected to its inclusion. Decisions under the Rotterdam Convention are made by consensus, so all partners must agree before a substance is added.
Endosulfan, one of the pesticides added to the list, made news earlier this year when the insecticide was banned worldwide under the global treaty on persistent organic pollutants (C&EN, May 9, page 15).
Substances listed under the Rotterdam Convention are banned or severely restricted for health or environmental reasons in some, but not all, countries that are treaty partners.
The U.S. is not a party to the Rotterdam Convention.
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