BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Nine "nasty" chemicals
should be added to a list of 12 substances blamed for causing
deaths and birth defects that are outlawed by a U.N. pact, the
European Commission said on Wednesday.
The European Union executive said it proposed banning
the additional chemicals, which are all part of a group of persistent
organic pollutants (POPs) -- toxic substances said to accumulate
in people's and animals' bodies.
The headline on the press release was: "Chemical
pollution: Commission wants to rid the world of more nasty substances."
The 2001 Stockholm Convention, which entered into
force on May 17 after ratification by 50 states, aims to ban or
strictly control production, import, export, disposal and use
Seventy-five parties have now ratified the Stockholm
Convention, the Commission said. It said the European Union was
expected to ratify in the autumn.
Environmental experts have said the Stockholm Convention's
"dirty dozen" list should be expanded. The EU Commission
said nine chemicals should be added to that list, while some of
those nine should be added to 16 substances listed in the 1998
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Protocol
"Although most of the industrial chemicals
and pesticides with POPS properties have already been phased out
in the EU, they still may be produced and used in other countries,"
the Commission said in a statement.
The chemicals it wants added include Octabromodiphenyl
ether -- a flame retardant -- and polychlorinated naphtalenes,
used for cable insulation.
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