Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
Persistent Organic Pollutant (Pro Res)
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are a group of chemicals and compounds that posses toxic properties, resist degradation, bioaccumulation and are transported far and wide through air, water and migratory species, across international boundaries and deposited far from their place of release, where they accumulate in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to the human health and the environment are considered as POPs.
Impact of POPs
Exposure to POPs can lead serious health effects including certain cancers, birth defects, dysfunctional immune, intelligence and reproductive systems, greater susceptibility to disease and even triggering adverse effect on the ecosystem and biodiversity; Its impact is multi species, multi sex and multi sites.
When these chemicals were synthesized in early days, due to their persistent nature, they were extensively used for the benefits of human kind. The persistent pesticides were boon to the farmers and general public. But later when the latent threats of these chemicals were understood, their persistence became the cause of peril to life forms and calls for the international attention.
UN Stockholm Convention on POPs
In response to this global problem of POPs, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) was adopted in 2001 (22nd May) and entered into force in 2004 (17th May), requires Parties to take measures to eliminate or reduce the release of POPs into the environment. The Convention is administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (http://chm.pops.int/Convention/tabid/54/language/en-US/Default.aspx).
The objective of this Convention is to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants.
So far there are 23 chemicals listed as POPs under the UN Stockholm Convention on POPs 2001. Nepal is party to this Convention since 2006 and had developed deposited its first National Implementation Plan (NIP) in 2007.
CEPHED has been working on POPs issues since its beginning in 2004 and has completed several research, publications, awareness raising and capacity buildings as well as pilot model developments projects so as to reduce and eliminate the release of POPs and prevent likely exposure to human health and environment thus saves people lives and environment.
CEPHED highly acknowledge the support from UNDP GEF SGP and other agencies to works with these POPs and Chemicals Issues. Some major outcomes of the research, advocacy, campaign and pilot demonstration projects, awareness, capacity buildings under POPs projects are listed here but not limited to:
- Data generated, Research and Publication made available, accessible in national language, awareness and Capacity built up about POPs.
- Contribute to the NIP development and realization of the management of decade long Obsolete Pesticide including POPs and recently carried out research on site contamination of the warehouses.
- Promoted Best Available Technology (Dry welding machine) replacing wet welding machines (uses PCB Contaminated transformer oils) thus prevent exposure to PCB, Dioxin and Furan POPs of the grill workers and communities.
- Develop Environmentally Sound Management of Health Care Waste in several hospitals including delivering of Mercury Free Health Care Services and Dentistry.
- Contributed in developing of Solid Waste Management Act, Regulation, Health Care Waste Management Guideline, Mercury Free Health Care Policy decision.
- Policy influence on Banning of Import, Purchase and Uses of Mercury based equipments in Health Sector of Nepal (effective from July 17, 2013).
- Policy influences on Cancelation of Registration of Endosulfan POPs Pesticides in Nepal (effective from August 2013).
- Increased numbers of hospitals have adopting Environment Sound Health Care Waste Management and Mercury Free Health Care Services
- Increased numbers of dental health care professionals have been shifting to mercury free dentistry practices.
- Over 50 per cent of Grill Entrepreneurs has increasingly using PCB Free Dry welding Machines and shifted their PBC contaminated wet welding machines.
- CEPHED initiatives on POPs and Chemicals have been nationally and internationally recognizes as CEPHED has been awarded with Grill Entrepreneur Recognition 2011, UN PEN Award 2011 and Environment Conservation Award by GON, MOSTE in 2012.
- CEPHED initiatives included into UN POPs Convention`s Success Story Book published by Convention Secretariat entitled "The best way to reduce exposure to POPs is to raise awareness among unsuspecting users and assist them with substitution: An example from Nepal" Also download from http://chm.pops.int