Eleven highly dangerous chemicals set to be banned

The Parliament has given its go ahead to an immediate ban on 11 Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). A final adoption by the Council could take place on 2 March.

The Parliament adopted in first reading on 26 February thereportby Pernille Frahm (GUE/NGL, Denmark) on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). It will now be forwarded to EU ministers for possible adoption on 2 March. Close contact was maintained throughout with the Council on this regulation to allow a swift adoption by EU minister in view of the ratification of the globalStockholm Convention on POPssigned by the European Community in May 2001.

After approval by EU ministers, the production, trade and use of 11 POPs will immediately be banned throughout the EU. Mrs Frahm has indicated after the vote that two other Pollutants (DDT and lindane) obtained derogations at the insistence of the Spanish government. However, she added that the derogation on DDT only concerns one Spanish factory and will most probably be revoked in 2008.

Commissioner Monti regretted that the ban on POPs was adopted on the basis of the environment provisions of the EC treaty and had not taken the perspective of the internal market into account. Monti said this approach was unacceptable and added that the Commission reserves the right to challenge the regulation before the European Court of Justice.

POPs are particularly resistant to degradation and seem to circulate easily around the globe as they were found as far away as in the arctic region. Traces of POPs are also commonly found in the human body, accumulating in the fatty tissue and remaining there from one generation to the next.



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