POPs culture

Published: Thursday 30 September 2004

Food products in the South Asian region (sar) are contaminated with persistent organic pollutants (pops). So claims a recently released report by New Delhi-based non-governmental organisation, Toxics Link. As it points out, the Stockholm Convention on pops has been able to do little in South Asian countries to control the release of 12 pops -- commonly known as the dirty dozen -- into the environment.

A dearth of data combine with conflicting policies of the national governments to promote generation of pops. The report examines information available in the sar, and evaluates the data in terms of sources, pathways and contamination, exposures and effects. Most pops chemicals are banned in the sar for agricultural use. However, ddt continues to be used for public health purposes in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Monitoring of pops in the sar is in sharp contrast to the situation in Europe where release of dioxins and furans into the air is well documented through monitoring programmes and modelling efforts.

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