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Toxic Chemicals: Persistent Organic Pollutants and Where to Find Them


The significance of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) cannot be understated, because they are present in systems essential for life, like the food chain and for industries, such as agriculture and manufacturing.

In part one of our discussion on POPs, we defined POPs, their governance and their main categories.

According to the United Nations’ SDG 12 knowledge platform, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants “established international frameworks to achieve the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes, chemicals and persistent organic pollutants. With six exceptions, all Member States are party to at least one of those conventions.” Managing POPs is also included in Target 12.4 of SDG 12. In addition, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) identifies most of the SDGs and how chemical safety or the sound management of chemicals and waste are fundamental to achieving them. You’ll find that list and case studies in a report called Chemicals and Waste Management for Sustainable Development by the UNDP.

“The Dirty Dozen”

The dirty dozen, or the 12 initial POPs, were first made official in 2001 at the Stockholm Convention, leading to stronger regulations banning them in many countries. POP is a general designation—a class of toxic chemicals that are organic or carbon-based. But what are the different POPs that are being addressed and how present are they in our lives and surroundings?

What are the different Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)?

The Central Concerns Regarding POPs

Better Chemical Management is Critical

Since these chemicals persist for years and can circulate globally through the grasshopper effect, production processes, such as agriculture and manufacturing, are urged to innovate in order to eliminate them and create a more sustainable future. International frameworks are helping make this happen and align businesses with safer environmental practices, chemical management protocols and the Sustainable Development Goals.

CleanChain helps organizations achieve transparency and real-time insight into the chemicals used throughout their supply chains. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you achieve your sustainability goals.

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Flemming Laursen

Flemming Laursen, Head of Sales for CleanChain, is an expert in the maximization of profit for companies through the use of ESG tools, data technology and impact sourcing. He was an entrepreneur and worked as director of sales for multiple businesses prior to joining ADEC Innovations.

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