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A Toxics-Free Future


NGO Guide to Persistent Organic Pollutants

A Framework for Action: To Protect Human Health and the Environment From Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

By Jack Weinberg
Senior Policy Advisor, IPEN

Final Text, November 7, 2008

This booklet is about a class of environmental pollutants that are called "persistent organic pollutants" or "POPs." POPs are toxic chemical pollutants that contaminate the environment in all regions of the world. POPs accumulate in the body tissues of wildlife and people; they cause human disabilities and diseases; and they disrupt sensitive ecosystems. In 2002, a global treaty called the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants was adopted by the world's governments to protect human health and the environment from POPs.

This booklet begins with an introduction to POPs, then goes on to provide some background about the Stockholm Convention to help put it into context. It then describes in a more detailed way what the Stockholm Convention actually says, addresses the current status of the Convention, and presents ways that NGOs and civil society can contribute to POPs elimination. It concludes with a call to action including the text of a Global Civil Society Statement on SAICM-a statement that NGOs and other organizations in all countries are invited to review and to endorse.

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