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New Chemicals Recommended for Listing Under the Rotterdam Convention

Geneva, 19 March 2010 - United Nations chemical experts have recommended that two pesticides - endosulfan and azinphos methyl - be included in the Rotterdam Convention's "Prior Informed Consent" procedure.

The Convention's Chemical Review Committee based its recommendation on a review of national regulatory actions to ban these chemicals, due to unacceptable risks to human health and the environment.

The Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure provides an early warning system that empowers countries to take informed decisions whether or not to import hazardous chemicals, in order to minimize the risks posed to human health and the environment. At present there are a total of 29 pesticides and 11 industrial chemicals subject to the PIC procedure.

Endosulfan

Endosulfan is an organochlorine insecticide and acaricide used in crops worldwide. It is mainly used on cotton, coffee and tea. Endosulfan is a persistent organic pollutant (POP) and can act as an endocrine disruptor, causing reproductive and developmental damage in both animals and humans.

The Chemical Review Committee of the Rotterdam Convention has considered notifications to ban or severely restrict endosulfan from 16 countries: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Jordan, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Senegal and Thailand, and the European Union.

The Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee of the Stockholm Convention adopted a risk profile on endosulfan at its fifth meeting (12-16 October 2009) and currently is developing a draft risk management evaluation which will be considered at its next meeting in October 2010.



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