The fifteenth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC-15) to the Stockholm Convention will take place from 1 to 4 October 2019 at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, Italy. The POPRC is responsible for evaluating substances proposed for listing in Annex A, B, and/or C of the Stockholm Convention. This year, the POPRC will undertake an initial review of two newly-nominated substances: Dechlorane Plus, a polychlorinated flame retardant additive, and Methoxychlor, an organochlorine pesticide. If the Committee decides these chemicals meet the Annex D screening criteria (evidence of persistence, toxicity, bioaccumulation and long-range environmental transport), the Committee will undertake work to determine whether they meet the specific thresholds necessary for categorization as POPs.
The Committee will also consider the draft risk management evaluation of perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), its salts and PFHxS-related compounds. This chemical is in the third and final stage of review by the POPRC. If the risk management evaluation is adopted, the POPRC’s recommendation to list the substance will be forwarded to the next meeting of the Conference of the Parties for possible listing in the Annexes of the Stockholm Convention. PFHxS is widely used in fire-fighting foams and metal plating, and is also used in commercial household products such as waxes, polishes, and water- and stain-repellent fabrics. This chemical has often been used as a replacement for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), which was listed under the Stockholm Convention in 2009. Like PFOS, PFHxS is part of a class of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a technically complex group of chemicals that have gained increasing public attention in recent years. Our analysis of POPRC-14 explores the challenges of addressing this class of substances.
Please see our summary of POPRC-14 for more information about POPRC’s recent work and what to expect for the upcoming meeting.
The Committee will also consider intersessional work on information related to specific exemptions for two other POPs: decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) and short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs).
IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) meeting coverage, provided daily web updates and a summary and analysis report from POPRC-15.
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Specific funding for IISD Reporting Services coverage of POPRC-15 has been provided by the European Union