Thursday, May 5, 2011

Endosulfan to be Banned Under the Stockholm Convention

The widely used insecticide endosulfan is now on a path to be phased out and eventually banned under the Stockholm Convention, which is an international agreement designed to limit the use of chemicals that are considered persistent organic pollutants.  The decision was made in Geneva, Switzerland during meetings of the "Conference of the parties" held April 25-29, 2011. 

The Parties agreed to list endosulfan in Annex A to the Convention, with specific exemptions. When the amendment to the Annex A enters into force in one year, endosulfan will become the 22nd POP to be listed under the Convention. 

Annex A listing means that production, use, import, and export of the substance is banned.  This decision is a follow up to the recommendation by the POPs committee last fall.

The exemptions include a relatively long list of special cases requested by the two biggest users of endosulfan, i.e., India and China.  Endosulfan has been banned in about 80 countries because it is considered by many to be highly acutely toxic and an endocrine disrupter, as well as potentially very bioaccumulative.  The ban will take effect in 2012, with about 5 extra years available for the special case exemptions and to allow time to identify and develop safer alternatives.

More information is on the Stockholm Convention site.

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