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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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Global movement of POPs management

Our daily life is supported by a variety of chemicals with various unique/beneficial properties. Sound management of chemicals has been a key issue in modern society in order to maximize their benefits and prevent or minimize their harmful effects. Laws and measures to control production and use of chemicals have been set up in countries for establishing this sound management. Under the laws, chemicals are checked for their chemical/biological properties before their production/import/use, and necessary measures are set accordingly. There has been particular emphasis on the control of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals, called PBT or PTS (persistent toxic substances). Such chemicals tend to remain in the environment for a long time, are transported on a regional and global scale, and accumulate and show toxicity in wildlife, especially in top predators with long longevity, and in human beings. Therefore, high priorities have been put on PBTs in chemical management systems in many countries, and the international treaty, the Stockholm Convention, was adopted in 2001 and entered into force in 2004 in order to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of such chemicals, called POPs (persistent organic pollutants) under the Convention (http://chm.pops.int/).

English

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