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Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
Stockholm Convention Secretariat.gif
The logo of the Stockholm Convention Secretariat
Type of treaty United Nations treaty
23 May 2001
Stockholm, Sweden
17 May 2004
Ninety days after the ratification by at least 50 signatory states
Signatories 152
Parties 169
Depositary Secretary-General of the United Nations
Languages Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish
     State parties to the Stockholm Convention as of May 2009.

Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is an international environmental treaty that aims to eliminate or restrict the production and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs).



In 1995, the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) called for global action to be taken on POPs, which it defined as "chemical substances that persist in the environment, bio-accumulate through the food web, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment".

Following this, the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) and the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) prepared an assessment of the 12 worst offenders, known as the dirty dozen.

The negotiations for the Convention were completed on 23 May 2001 in Stockholm. The convention entered into force on 17 May 2004 with ratification by an initial 128 parties and 151 signatories. Co-signatories agree to outlaw nine of the dirty dozen chemicals, limit the use of DDT to malaria control, and curtail inadvertent production of dioxins and furans.

Parties to the convention have agreed to a process by which persistent toxic compounds can be reviewed and added to the convention, if they meet certain criteria for persistence and transboundary threat. The first set of new chemicals to be added to the Convention were agreed at a conference in Geneva on 8 May 2009.

As of December 2008, there are 168 parties to the Convention.[1]

Listed substances

There were initially twelve distinct chemicals listed in three categories. Two chemicals, hexachlorobenzene and polychlorinated biphenyls, were listed in both categories A and C.[2]

Annex Name CAS Number Exemptions
A. Elimination Aldrin 309-00-2 Production none
Use as a local ectoparasiticide and insecticide
A. Elimination Chlordane 57-74-9 Production by registered parties
Use as a local ectoparasiticide, insecticide, termiticide (including in buildings, dams and roads) and as an additive in plywood adhesives
A. Elimination Dieldrin 60-57-1 Production none
Use in agricultural operations
A. Elimination Endrin 72-20-8 None
A. Elimination Heptachlor 76-44-8 Production none
Use as a termiticide (including in the structure of houses and underground), for organic treatment and in underground cable boxes
A. Elimination Hexachlorobenzene 118-74-1 Production by registered parties
Use as a chemical intermediate and a solvent for pesticides
A. Elimination Mirex 2385-85-5 Production by registered parties
Use as a termiticide
A. Elimination Toxaphene 8001-35-2 None
A. Elimination Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) various Production none
Use in accordance with part II of Annex A
B. Restriction DDT 50-29-3 Disease vector control in accordance with Part II of Annex B
Production and use as an intermediate in the production of dicofol and other compounds
C. Unintentional Production Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins ("dioxins") and polychlorinated dibenzofurans various  
C. Unintentional Production Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) various  
C. Unintentional Production Hexachlorobenzene 118-74-1  
Added by the Fourth Conference of Parties, May 2009
These modifications will come into force on 26 August 2010, except for countries that submit a notification pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 3(b) of Article 22.[3]
Annex Name CAS Number Exemptions
A. Elimination α-Hexachlorocyclohexane 319-84-6 None
A. Elimination β-Hexachlorocyclohexane 319-85-7 None
A. Elimination Chlordecone 143-50-0 None
A. Elimination Hexabromobiphenyl 36355-01-8 None
A. Elimination Hexabromodiphenyl ether
and heptabromodiphenyl ether
various Production none
Use recycling and reuse of articles containing these compounds
A. Elimination Lindane 58-89-9 Production none
Use Human health pharmaceutical for control of head lice and scabies as second line treatment
A. Elimination Pentachlorobenzene 608-93-5 None
A. Elimination Tetrabromodiphenyl ether
and pentabromodiphenyl ether
various Production none
Use recycling and reuse of articles containing these compounds
B. Restriction Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), its salts and perfluorooctanesulfonyl fluoride (PFOSF) various Production for permitted uses
Use various uses specified in part III of Annex B

DDT and malaria

Although some critics have alleged that the treaty is responsible for the continuing death toll from malaria, in reality the treaty specifically permits the public health use of DDT for the control of mosquitoes (the malaria vector).[4][5][6] From a developing country perspective, a lack of data and information about the sources, releases, and environmental levels of POPs, hampers negotiations on specific compounds, and indicates a strong need for research.[7]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention. "Measures to reduce or eliminate POPs" (PDF). Geneva. Retrieved 12 June 2009. 
  3. ^ Depostary notification, Secretary-General of the United Nations, 26 August 2009,, retrieved 2009-12-17 .
  4. ^ Curtis, C. F. (2002), "Should the use of DDT be revived for malaria vector control?", Biomedica 22: 455–61 .
  5. ^ 10 Things You Need to Know about DDT Use under The Stockholm Convention, World Health Organization, 2005, .
  6. ^ Bouwman, H. (2003), "POPs in southern Africa", Handbook of Environmental Chemistry. Vol. 3O: Persistent Organic Pollutants, pp. 297–320, .
  7. ^ Bouwman, H. (2004), "South Africa and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants", Sth. Afr. J. Sci. 100 (7/8): 323–28 .

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