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Aarhus Protocol on Persistant Organic Pollutants (POPs)

Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution on Persistent Organic Pollution

1. Issued by / date / date of implementation

United Nations / 1998; amended in 2009 / entry into force nineteenth day following the date of deposit by a Party of its instrument of ratification.

2. Type of legislation

International protocol to be implemented by all ratifying Parties.

3. General purpose

The pupose of the Protocol is to eliminate discharges, emissions and losses of POPs. The Protocol bans the production and use of some products (aldrin, chlordane, chlordecone, dieldrin, endrin, hexabromobiphenyl, mirex and toxaphene). Others are scheduled for elimination at a later stage (DDT, heptachlor, hexaclorobenzene, PCBs). The Protocol severely restricts the use of DDT, HCH (including lindane) and PCBs. It includes provisions for dealing with the wastes containing POPs and to reducing POPs emissions (dioxins, furans, PAHs and HCB).

4. Substitution relevant paragraphs

Article 5 states that Parties should facilitate the exchange of information and technology designed to reduce the generation and emission of persistent organic pollutants and to develop cost-effective alternatives.

Article 6 refers to public awareness and states that Parties should inform to the general public, including individuals who are direct users of persistent organic pollutants on existing alternatives. This information may include the evaluation of the risks that such alternatives pose to human health and the environment, and information on the economic and social impacts of such alternatives.

Alternative(s) including processes and methodology are also addressed in the annexes of the Protocol.

Annex I presents the substances scheduled for elimination and specifies that in efforts should be made to find and use alternatives to DDT.

ANNEX V-Best available techniques to control emissions of POPs from major stationary sources mentions the replacement of materials which are POPs as a general control measure. The annex also refers to reducing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons emissions by alternative technologies in wood preservation installations.

5. Assessment of relevance for substitution

The protocol considers substitution as a primary measure to achieve its goals and targets. It contains general recommendations for substitution (research for safer alternatives, promotion of substitution, assessment of possible substitutes, informing general public ). Substitution is also mentioned in more particular cases, like the elimination of DDT production and reducing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons emissions by alternative technologies in wood preservation.

6. Link to the legal text

The 1998 Aarhus Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

7. Further information

7.1 Studies or publications about the legislation or its impact

2009 Amendments to the Protocol text and to annexes I, II, III, IV, VI and VIII
1979 Geneva Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP)
2004 EU Regulation 850/2004 on persistent organic pollutants and amending Directive 79/117/EEC

Last update: 21.02.2011

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