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Last edited 21 Jun 2022
Persistent organic pollutants (POP)
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are organic compounds that are resistant to the chemical, biological, and photolytic processes of degradation in the environmental and remain as toxic chemicals that can affect human health, wildlife and the environment. They accumulate in the body fat of people, marine mammals, and other animals and are passed from mother to foetus.They can travel great distances by wind and water currents
They are produced during combustion of municipal and medical wastes, general waste and industrial processes, but also some fuels. They have also been found as trace contaminants in certain older generations of herbicides, wood preservatives, plasticisers, dyes and paints that contained one of the now banned POP's.
There are 12 POP's, often called the dirty dozen, many of which are now banned but can remain in some older products;
- Aldrin - pesticide applied to soils to kill termites, grasshoppers, corn rootworm.
- Chlordane - a broad-spectrum insecticide on a range of agricultural crops and to control termites.
- Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) - used against malaria, typhus, and other diseases spread by insects, was also sprayed on a variety of agricultural crops, especially cotton.
- Dieldrin -to control termites and textile pests, also been used to control insect-borne diseases and protect soils.
- Endrin -insecticide is sprayed on the leaves of crops such as cotton and grains.
- Heptachlor - pesticide applied to soils to kill termites, grasshoppers on cotton crops.
- Hexachlorobenzen - was used to treat seeds, as it kills fungi that affect food crops.
- Mirex - was used mainly to combat fire ants and other types of ants or termites. Also used as a fire retardant in plastics, rubber, and electrical goods.
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)- used in industry as heat exchange fluids, in electric transformers and capacitors, and as additives in paint, carbonless copy paper, and plastics.
- Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins - produced by incomplete combustion of hospital waste, municipal waste, and automobile emissions, peat, coal, and wood and during the manufacture of pesticides and other chlorinated substances.
- Polychlorinated dibenzofurans - produced by incomplete combustion of hospital waste, municipal waste, and automobile emissions, peat, coal, and wood and during the manufacture of PCB.
- Toxaphen - This insecticide is used on cotton, cereal grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
- Binding agent.
- Construction dust.
- Contaminated land.
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health.
- Deleterious materials.
- Environmental legislation.
- Environmental policy.
- Hazardous substances.
- Inspections focus on occupational lung disease.
- Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990.
- Ozone depleting substances.
- Structural adhesives.
- Volatile organic compounds VOC.
- Workplace exposure limits.
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