the Japanese cabinet will soon approve two bills that are aimed at encouraging the processing of polychlorinated biphenyls (pcb), a chemical that causes sexual, neural and developmental problems in animals. This is being done to destroy the country's decade-old stockpiles of the chemical. The bill includes plans to create national and prefectural disposal sites and a fund to subsidise pcb destruction. It will also make it compulsory for factories and companies to report annually to prefectural authorities on the storage and disposal status of pcbs. In addition to these provisions, four regional pcb processing plants will also be built.
The country's environment ministry officials said all known stored pcbs would be destroyed in the next 10 years. Although production of pcbs was banned in 1972, the process of disposing the chemicals has been slow because of citizens' opposition to the construction of processing facilities as well as lack of technological choices to do so. But in recent years, new methods of destroying pcbs have been developed.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.