Highlights

Union Cabinet approved the ratification of 7 Chemicals that are listed under Stockholm convention on persistent organic pollutants. Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi. Further, Union cabinet delegated its powers of ratification to the union ministry of external affairs and ministry of environment forest and climate change (MoEF). Both Ministries are already regulating the persistent organic pollutants under the domestic regulations.

What are 7 persistent organic pollutants?

The 7 persistent organic pollutants that are currently being ratified by the GoI

  • Chlordecone (C10Cl10O)
  • Hexabromobiphenyl ( C12H4Br6)
  • Hexabromodiphenyl ether (C12H4Br6O) and Heptabromodiphenylether (C12H3Br7O) (Commercial octa-BDE)
  • Tetrabromodiphenyl (C12H6Br4O) ether and Pentabromodiphenyl (C12H5Br5O) ether (Commercial penta-BDE)
  • Pentachlorobenzene (C6HCl5)
  • Hexabromocyclododecane (C12H18Br6)
  • Hexachlorobutadiene (C4Cl6)

These 7 pollutants were listed in Stockholm convention already. In 2018, the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change notified regulation of Persistent organic pollutants rules. Under these rules, the manufacture, trade, use, import and export of these 7 Chemicals were prohibited. This was completely domestic and not in accordance to the Stockholm Convention.

India ratifying now

In January 2006, India has ratified the Stockholm convention. However, India till date stays in an opt-out position following domestic rules on usage of POPs

Opt-Out Position in Stockholm Convention

Stockholm convention allows its members to stay in such a position under article 25.  According to the article, the amendments made to the convention shall not be enforced by its members unless an instrument of acceptance for ratification or approval is deposited with the UN.

Union cabinet approval will demonstrate India’s commitment towards international obligation in protecting the environment from POPs. This will in turn allow India to access the Global Environment Facility financial resources by updating National Implementation Plan.

Persistent organic pollutants

  • Persistent organic pollutants are also called forever chemicals.
  • They are resistant to environmental degradation through photolytic, chemical and biological processes.
  • Thus they accumulate in the environment causing adverse impacts on human health.
  • With an intention to eliminate persistent organic pollutants completely from the environment, the Stockholm convention on persistent organic pollutants was held in 2001.
  • India is a signatory of the convention.

Backdrop

The Stockholm convention is a Treaty that was signed to protect environment and humans from persistent organic pollutants. These pollutants accumulate in living organisms affecting their health adversely and are of the nature of quick environmental transport.

 Ill effects

The exposure to persistent organic pollutants might lead to cancer, diseases of immune system, damage to Central and peripheral nervous system and interference with infant development.

Cabinet approves ratification of 7 Organic Pollutants Cabinet approves ratification of 7 Organic Pollutants