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Monitoring and Governance of Persistent Organic Pollutants in Asia

image of Monitoring and Governance of Persistent Organic Pollutants in Asia

A variety of chemical compounds has been released into water from industrial and agricultural activities and urban wastes. Some of those chemicals are harmful to living organisms and are resistant to degradation, thus named persistent organic pollutants (POPs). In efforts to manage chemical pollutants such as POPs in Asia, the United Nations University (UNU) and Shimadzu Corporation established a pilot project in 1996, “Environmental Monitoring and Analysis in the East Asian Region”, to aid developing Asian countries with the knowledge and technology to analyse and monitor such pollutants in the environment. This book summarizes some highlights of monitoring results obtained by the project’s activities for 15 years, and reports the present status of the project, touching on the future development of the project by analysing challenges ahead of the project.

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Monitoring of persistent organic pollutants in Singapore

Over the years, widespread contamination of toxic POPs such as OCPs, PCBs and PBDEs have caused great harm to human beings and the global environment (Allen et al., 1996; Simo et al., 1997; Fernandez et al., 2000). As these pollutants are lipophilic and persistent in nature, they can readily undergo bioaccumulation and biomagnification in the food chain (Erickson, 1997; Waid, 1990). Certain POPs such as lindane have already been identified to be possible carcinogens and there is growing evidence that these chlorinated compounds have the potential to elicit endocrine disruption in biota by impacting upon growth developmental, reproductive and hormonal functions (Ahmed, 2000; Colborn and Smolen, 1996). The presence of OCPs in the environment was mostly derived from agricultural and health-related applications such as in the use of insecticides to control pests and vectors of diseases.

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