Why should we tolerate a diet of weak poisons, a home in insipid surroundings, a circle of acquaintances who are not quite our enemies, the noise of motors with just enough relief to prevent insanity? Who would want to live in a world which is just not quite fatal? - Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
POPs are a set of chemicals that are toxic, persist in the environment for long periods of time, and biomagnify as they move through the food chain - Source: EPA U.S.
POPs have been linked to adverse effects on human health and animals, such as cancer, damage to the nervous system, reproductive disorders, and disruption of the immune system. Because they circulate globally via the atmosphere, oceans, and other pathways, POPs released in one part of the world can travel to regions far from their source of origin.
IPEN with a group of international networks has launched a new campaign which aims to raise awareness about the harms of toxic chemicals, plus engage and broaden the base of civil society groups working on issues related to the implementation of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management.
POPs have been found to have effects on the developing nervous system, some are carcinogenic, and some probably have effects on the endocrine and immune systems. For these reasons, The United Nations Environment Programme has identified twelve POPs that need to be reduced and eliminated to protect human health.
The key objective of the IOMC Technical Coordinating Group on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is to promote coherence among participating organizations and governments to address POPs and their obligations under the Stockholm Convention.
Overall, more organochlorine compounds were detected in sediment than in biological tissues; however, certain organochlorines like chlordane and PCBs were detected more frequently in aquatic biota than sediment.
The Stockholm Convention is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants. POPs are chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, accumulate in the fatty tissue of living organisms and are toxic to humans and wildlife.
Many POPs are currently or were in the past used as pesticides. Others are used in industrial processes and in the production of a range of goods such as solvents, polyvinyl chloride, and pharmaceuticals.