United Nations experts have called for two more pesticides to be added to a trade “watch list” designed to help developing countries manage potentially harmful imported substances more effectively.
The Chemical Review Committee with the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade recommends that add Endosulfan and azinphos-methyl be added to the list, part of a UN-backed treaty, as each are hazardous to human health and the environment. Both chemicals are not authorised for use in the EU.
Endosulfan, an insecticide used in the production of crops, especially cotton, coffee and tea, is a persistent organic pollutant (POP) and can lead to reproductive and developmental damage in humans and animals. For more information, have a look on the Pesticide Action Networks Pesticide Database.
Azinphos-methyl, an insecticide derived from nerve agents developed during the Second World War, is mostly used in the production of vegetables and on several kinds of fruit trees. It is considered toxic to humans and has been linked to reproductive and developmental damage. For more information, have a look on the Pesticide Action Networks Pesticide Database .
Parties to the Rotterdam Convention will consider including the two chemicals to the watch list at a meeting next year.
There are currently 29 pesticides and 11 industrial chemicals on the Rotterdam Convention’s international trade watch list, under which an exporting nation must ensure no substance on the list leaves its territory without the consent of the recipient country.
The Convention is designed to ensure that hazardous chemicals do not endanger human health and the environment but inclusion on the list is not a recommendation for an international ban or severe restriction of the use of the substance.
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Written on 23 April 2010.