With an intensive final round of formal meetings and informal consultations, the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Review Committee completed its work on Saturday. In addition to adopting a series of decisions on substances that are already listed in the Annexes of the Convention, including brominated diphenyl ethers (BDEs), short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs), and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts, and PFOA-related compounds, the Committee finalized this round of its work on the three chemicals that are currently under review.
Regarding the Swiss proposal to list UV-328, members agreed that the available evidence satisfies the screening criteria for potential POPs and established an intersessional working group to prepare a draft risk profile for consideration at the Committee’s next meeting. As a result of discussions of this substance, the Committee also agreed to create a working group to develop guidance on application of the long-range transport criteria, with particular focus on plastics as a potential pathway for the global spread of POPs.
Regarding the EU’s proposal to list the pesticide methoxychlor, the Committee agreed that methoxychlor is likely, as a result of its long-range environmental transport, to lead to significant adverse human health and environmental effects such that global action is warranted. The Committee also decided to initiate preparations of the draft risk management evaluation according to Annex F (Information on socio-economic considerations) and to invite parties and observers to provide relevant information before 1 March 2021.
Regarding Norway’s proposal to list the flame retardant Dechlorane Plus and its syn- and anti- isomers, members could not reach consensus as to whether the evidence on adverse effects was sufficient for the Committee to decide that global action is warranted. After extensive discussion, the Committee agreed to defer its decision on this issue to its next meeting and use the intersessional period to gather further data.
As the meeting drew to a close, BRS Executive Secretary Rolph Payet offered profuse thanks to Committee members, observers, members of the Secretariat and behind-the-scenes staff for making this virtual meeting a success. Interim Chair Peter Dawson, New Zealand, gaveled the meeting to a close at 7:02 pm (UTC+1).
Please return to this site on Tuesday, 19 January 2020 for the summary report.