Issue Date: April 2, 2012
Chemicals Tapped For Listing In Treaty
Four chemicals along with certain perfluorinated compounds are being recommended by a group of scientific experts for inclusion in an international accord regulating trade in hazardous substances. After a meeting in late March, the experts said that governments should add the substances to the 43 already listed in the Rotterdam Convention. This treaty requires countries to give consent before accepting imports of pesticides or industrial chemicals that are banned or severely restricted elsewhere in the world. Three of the chemicals recommended for listing are flame retardants: pentabromodiphenyl ether (penta-BDE); commercial mixtures containing penta-BDE; and octa-BDE. The fourth is any liquid formulation containing at least 276 g/L of the pesticide paraquat dichloride. The category of chemicals encompassing perfluorooctane sulfonic acid and related sulfonates, sulfonamides, and sulfonyls are also recommended for inclusion. These substances were once widely used as water, oil, soil, and grease repellents; as surfactants; and in firefighting foams. Rotterdam Convention partners will consider adoption of the listing recommendations in 2013.
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