The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is an international treaty that aims to reduce or eliminate persistent organic pollutants in the environment (POPs). Administered by the United Nations Environment Programme, the convention was signed in 2001, went into force in 2004, and as of October 2011, the convention had 176 Parties (signatory nations). The convention initially identified 12 POPs (the “dirty dozen”, including DDT) and has added additional compounds through amendments to the convention in subsequent years.
Each POP is listed in one or more of the following categories:Annex A (Elimination): Parties must take measures to eliminate the production and use of the chemicals, with specific exemptions. Annex B (Restriction): Parties must take measures to restrict the production and use of the chemicals in light of applicable acceptable purposes and/or specific exemptions. Annex C (Unintentional production): Parties must take measures to reduce the unintentional releases of chemicals with the goal of continuing minimization and, where feasible, ultimate elimination.
Of the original “dirty dozen,” DDT remains the only POP that continues to be granted an “exemption.” (see, for example, “Stockholm Convention 10th Anniversary: Major Achievements“)