The United Nations on Monday added 14 pesticides
and chemicals, including lead additive for petrol, to a growing
list of toxic substances in which trade is restricted.
Under the Rotterdam Convention, such substances
can only be exported from one country to another with the permission
of the government of the importing state.
"This is going to reduce the risk of people's exposure to
a number of dangerous chemicals that are still in widespread use,"
said Jim Willis, executive secretary of the U.N. treaty.
The decision takes to 41 the number of products, including several
types of asbestos, regarded as a major agent of cancer, which
cannot be moved freely across borders under the treaty.
But chrysotile, the most common form of asbestos, was again dropped
after producing countries, including Canada and Russia, blocked
its inclusion at a preparatory meeting on Saturday.
Decisions under the 1998 treaty -- officially the Rotterdam Convention
on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure -- are taken by
Conservationist group WWF reacted angrily to its exclusion, saying
chrysotile, which represents some 94 percent of world consumption,
met all the requirements for being listed.
The convention, which has been ratified by over 70 states, allows
for global restrictions on any substance which is already the
subject of limitations or bans in any two U.N. regions.
In the case of chyrysotile, three regions -- represented by Australia,
Chile and the European Union -- had taken action based on findings
the chemical is carcinogenic, WWF noted.
"Canada and Russia's objections to listing chrysotile asbestos
are embarrassingly self-interested, protecting domestic exporters
interested in selling this dangerous chemical abroad," said
Clifton Curtis, director of WWF's Global Toxics Programme.
Original URL: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L20285440.htm