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Ban on "Dirty Dozen" agreed upon

By Prominairy in News
Wed May 23, 2001 at 03:11:14 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)

     A new global environment treaty, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutions, that bans or severely restricts the twelve most dangerous toxic chemicals, including PCBs and DDT, was today adopted at the UN environmental meeting in Stockholm, Sweden.

     This treaty is historic, since it is the most internationally extensive treaty of its kind; it is supported by 127 countries as well as environmental organisations such as World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace. It is important, however, to notice that the treaty still has to be ratified by individual parliaments; it will take effect once 50 countries have ratified it.

     The treaty will ban the production and use of nine out of the twelve chemicals; PCB will still be allowed in electrical equipment until 2025 and dioxins and furans, which are mainly by-products from waste burning and industrial production, would "only" be cut back and eliminated where possible. DDT will also be an exception, as BBC reported in this piece of news:
The treaty will allow about 25 countries to continue using DDT to combat malaria in accordance with World Health Organization guidelines, until they can develop safer solutions.
     Here is also the UN's press release from December 11th about the finalization of the treaty text in Johannesburg.

     The toxic chemicals mentioned by the treaty are:


Voxel dot net
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My opinion of the treaty:
o The best thing I've heard in a long time! 24%
o Good, but I think it could have been better 36%
o It will set world industry back 50 years! 22%
o I didn't even bother to find out what it was about 15%

Votes: 57
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o World Wildlife Fund
o Greenpeace
o this piece of news
o press release
o Aldrin
o Chlordane
o Dieldrin
o Dioxins
o Endrin
o Furans
o Heptachlor
o Hexachloro benzene (HCB)
o Mirex
o Polychlori nated Biphenyls (PCBs)
o Toxaphene
o Also by Prominairy

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Ban on "Dirty Dozen" agreed upon | 19 comments (18 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Sounds like a good treaty to me. (3.50 / 6) (#1)
by Shren on Tue May 22, 2001 at 06:24:50 PM EST

I won't be completely happy with the treaty, however, untill it includes Nutrasweet. What a vile substance.

700 club (none / 0) (#2)
by delmoi on Tue May 22, 2001 at 07:07:41 PM EST

You know what's weird? I watched the 700 club a few times growing up, and they seemed to have this insain bent against the substance (nutrisweet). It was very weird.
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
heh.. (2.00 / 1) (#3)
by rebelcool on Tue May 22, 2001 at 07:24:09 PM EST

if its popular, it's the devil.

If its different, it's the devil.

If its fun, it's thd evil.

If god didnt make it, it's the devil!

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

god made it. (3.50 / 2) (#5)
by Shren on Tue May 22, 2001 at 08:28:06 PM EST

He just didn't give it the name Nutrasweet.

[ Parent ]

or (2.00 / 1) (#13)
by alprazolam on Wed May 23, 2001 at 09:00:55 PM EST

he would have if he existed

[ Parent ]
Aspartame/Nutrasweet (3.00 / 1) (#4)
by sigwinch on Tue May 22, 2001 at 07:55:56 PM EST

Its neurological effects on me include tingly scalp and dizziness. As far as I'm concerned, it is a tool of the Devil.

I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

5% club (none / 0) (#15)
by Mad Hughagi on Thu May 24, 2001 at 11:58:27 AM EST

I remember when they first came out with nutrasweet (remember those little gumballs???).

I believe they stated that only 5% of the population would be able to taste the difference between the artificial sweetener and the real thing. It may have been even less than that (I can't remember for sure - just setting an upper limit).

In any case, as well as yourself, I was one of the few who could discern the taste. It actually gives me anywhere from a nauseous feeling to a headache if I drink a whole can of diet pop. I try to avoid the stuff at all costs. It simply tastes vile to me.

I guess it's just a result of our hedonistic culture - there's no free lunch, so they like to say. Anytime I see one of these new "breakthroughs" in food/drugs I always wonder just what they aren't telling us (or more likely, what they don't know themselves).


We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
[ Parent ]

Aspartame (4.33 / 3) (#10)
by greycat on Wed May 23, 2001 at 12:19:56 PM EST

Aspartame is known to have some serious issues. Among other things, it's unstable in aqueous solution at room temperature -- it breaks down into formaldehyde and something else whose name I've forgotten, but it's not good for you. And the warmer the temperature, the faster it breaks down, of course -- if you leave your Diet Pepsi in the hot trunk of your car during the summer, you get an extra dose of poisons.

www.dorway.com has an enormous amount of information about Aspartame. Now if only they'd present it a little more professionally....

[ Parent ]
good (3.40 / 5) (#7)
by Delirium on Wed May 23, 2001 at 01:01:38 AM EST

I'm glad to see this treaty. For once, it seems everything is well-thought out. The chemicals which can be banned are banned, while the few chemicals that are hard to cut back on have exceptions made for them, to ensure at least some cutting back, with more in the future (if there was a complete immediate ban on chemicals vital to some countries' industry the treaty would likely either not be ratified or would just be widely ignored once ratified). And I like the DDT exception for malaria - I had seen some discussion of the proposed DDT ban, and projected figures show that many many more people would die from malaria if DDT were no longer used than die from any toxic effects of DDT itself. So it's certainly not an optimal solution, but if it's the only available anti-malaria solution, it should be used provisionally.

So basically I hope this treaty gets ratified.

Interesting to track response by western countries (3.25 / 4) (#8)
by pavlos on Wed May 23, 2001 at 09:50:55 AM EST

This treaty sounds like good news. Like other similar treaties (CFCs, CO2) the most important thing to watch will be which western governments ratify and observe the treaty. The United States has been pretty bad at delaying to commit itself to such treaties.

Suggestion for k5: It might be nice to have a "long term issue" page where such stories go. That way people can post comments from time to time when there is significant progress (or delay) to report.


treaty shmeaty (3.66 / 3) (#9)
by astrid on Wed May 23, 2001 at 10:31:40 AM EST

i applaud this sort of bureaucratic action on environmental issues, because if nothing else it shows that some governments care about the environment. however, i believe that these treaties are seldom worth the unbleached paper they're written on.

the only lasting change that is going to come is when major world powers take measures to make envrionmental crimes unprofitable - ie, no tax cuts for polluting companies, ridiculous fines, and enforced regulations. companies dump waste and use pesticides not because they want to pollute but rather because they don't care what stands between them and profits. big business' first responsibility is revenue, and we can't expect these companies to act in any other interests except their fiscal interests. therefore, when environmental crime is unprofitable and there are cheaper, more economically sensible alternatives, we may see some lasting change.

until then, i like the treaty, i applaud the effort, but i don't see it as all that effective.

----- "i was disappointed with the movie 'the fifth element.' i thought it was going to be about boron."
A Treaty to Ban the Dirty Dozen! (2.00 / 1) (#11)
by Captain_Tenille on Wed May 23, 2001 at 05:17:43 PM EST

What will happen to everyone's favorite WWII movie with Charles Bronson and numerous other misfits?

Oh, wait, a different "Dirty Dozen"... That's good, then.
/* You are not expected to understand this. */

Man Vs. Nature: The Road to Victory!

Seems Reasonable (4.50 / 4) (#12)
by AArthur on Wed May 23, 2001 at 07:46:56 PM EST

I think the treaty is one of the most sensible enviromental treaties on paper, I have seen. Of course 'sensible' on paper, doesn't mean that it will be reasonably implemented. Most of the chemical listed are nasty, but probably not life threating to humans, but known to cause cancer or ulimately kill certain animals in very large dosage.

All of the chemicals listed in the treaty are persistant organic polutants, that attach themselves to fat cells, via. ingestion of food, and stay there.

For example, cow eats grass, that has dioxin and furans on it from burning (usually at low tempetures -- ie. incomplete combustion) pvc plastic (ie. plastic pipeing, some plastic bottles) or pressure treated wood (like from a deck). Farmer milks cow, and sells milk. Somebody buys the milk, and drink it. The dioxins and furans attach themselves to fat cells, and stay there for many years (decades).

Luckly, even in high dosages, humans doen't get sick from POP chemicals, at least as far as proven test results go. But as some lab animals (rats, gerbils) do get really sick (as do some wild birds), they can't rule it out for sure.

POP aren't a threat in low dosage. If you burn some PVC plastic, cholorated paper, clorine bleech or pressure treated wood (which is extermely difficult to do, if you have tried) out back (even lots of it), your not going to create a enough toxin to do harm to anything, especially not humans or large animals.

PCBs are basically in the same boat. People eat fish with lots PCBs in them and don't die from them. People who have drank water from PCB contamted souces, don't show any precent of sickness or cancer then normal. It does kill fish and birds though at very high levels.

Then there DDT. DDT used be called the "safe" pestiside. It is pretty much harmless to humans. It does mess up egg development in eagles, in high concentrations (mostly caused by overuse of heaving spraying for agricultural use).

POP's real threat is if a chemical company dumps tens of thousands of tons of these chemicals into water or into the air day after day. Besides having a slimy, onslightly mess, they will probably make some small animals sick.

That said, upsetting food chains is a pretty dangerous thing to do -- killing small animals isn't a great pratice.

Visual damage to the enviroment is probably what POP chemicals causes the most of, and scariness to people (as once you get POP chemicals in you it stays).

The treaty puts reasonable dates to phase out these chemicals. In the states, most of them have been on the way out for while.

Modern incinerators produce very low amounts of dioxin and furans, diesel has been reformatulated to burn more completely and with fewer clorinates becoming dixoin, paper bleching plants release less chemicals into the air, PVC is being phased out for alot of things. PCBs are illegal to dump anywhere in the US, in any amount (of course that still happens when people discard old transformers, capciators, etc.) DDT is also illegal.

It doesn't go nuts trying to flat out ban these chemicals too. Banning diesel, burning of garbage at low tempetures by rural residents, banning of all transformers (using PCBs as a coolent -- ie. over 25 years old) would be and outrageous (and wasteful) reaction to this.

This treaty takes chemicals that are harmful to the enviroment (not humans particularly) in very large dosages and try to curve or elimate (when it makes sense to elimate) their use or existance. It makes perfect sense to me, I would see who not agree to it (except maybe enviro-nazis who say it doesn't go far enough, or those who are afraid if it will be abused to do things it doesn't say).

Andrew B. Arthur | aarthur@imaclinux.net | http://hvcc.edu/~aa310264

It sounds good but... (4.00 / 1) (#14)
by willie on Thu May 24, 2001 at 04:12:56 AM EST

This sounds like a great idea, but how long will it take the US to decide that it won't be financially benficial to follow this and find some way to force it to be overruled? Yes, I know GWB's said he likes it for the moment, but 25 counties are exempted from DDT aren't they? <sarcasm>Well that doesn't seem very fair to the good ol' US of A, does it?</sarcasm>

God damn it (1.00 / 1) (#16)
by platypii on Thu May 24, 2001 at 08:31:24 PM EST

Another worthless piece of "legislation" by the <SARCASM>wonderful</SARCASM> united nations. I dont know why the USA still bothers with them, when all they do is demand money and then tell us what to do..... sounds pretty much like all government, but the United Nations doesnt even have our best interests in mind, nor any country's really. One day it will dissolve, just like the league of nations, and that will be a good day.

league of nation (none / 0) (#19)
by strlen on Thu Jun 28, 2001 at 03:44:15 PM EST

yeah the day hitler's tank plowed into chekhoslovakia and league of nations died, was a great day for you.

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Malaria (none / 0) (#17)
by Abumarie on Fri May 25, 2001 at 12:35:22 PM EST

Every day, a child dies every 30 seconds because of malaria. The application of DDT to the inside of a hut would protect its inhabitants for 6 months. A ban like this is simply child killing by the elite and the wealthy

Having sex is heriditary. If your parents didn't have it, chances are good you won't either.
Malaria, DDT, children (none / 0) (#18)
by thejeff on Wed May 30, 2001 at 09:49:24 AM EST

Which psrt of The treaty will allow about 25 countries to continue using DDT to combat malaria in accordance with World Health Organization guidelines, until they can develop safer solutions didn't you read? I assume that those are the countries that have the worst problems with malaria. While the effects of long term exposure to DDT aren't as bad as malaria, it's still not a good idea, thus the total ban thatgoes into effect once safer solutions are available.
If you have more info than in this article, post it, otherwise read, before posting things blatantly contradicted by the article.

[ Parent ]
Ban on "Dirty Dozen" agreed upon | 19 comments (18 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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