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States to eliminate nine more poisonous chemicals: UN

by Staff Writers
Geneva (AFP) May 9, 2009
Nine chemicals, including headlice treatment lindane, have been added to a list of poisonous substances that are to be eliminated under the Stockholm Convention, the UN Environment Programme said Saturday.

More than 160 signatory states of the convention targeting hazardous substances that can kill or are seriously harmful to health, added the chemicals to the existing list of 12 after a week-long meeting in Geneva.

"The tremendous impact of these substances on human health and the environment has been acknowledged today by adding nine new chemicals to the Convention," said UN Under-Secretary General Achim Steiner in a statement.

"This shift reflects international concern on the need to reduce and eventually eliminate such substances throughout the global community."

The nine chemicals that member states have now committed to eliminate are:

- Lindane -- used in treatment of headlice and scabies, and in insecticides

- Alpha hexachlorocyclohexane -- a by-product of lindane

- Beta hexachlorocyclohexane -- a by-product of lindane

- Hexabromodiphenyl ether and heptabromodiphenyl ether -- used in flame retardants

- Tetrabromodiphenyl ether and pentabromodiphenyl ether -- used in flame retardants

- Chlordecone -- used in agricultural pesticides

- Hexabromobiphenyl -- used in flame retardants

- Pentachlorobenzene -- used in fungicides, flame retardants

- Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride -- used in electric and electronic parts, photo imaging, textiles

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