Stockholm convention has listed several banned chemicals because of its adverse effects on humans and environment. The banned chemicals have been classified into following three categories, including.
1. Pesticides, which list of chemicals including Aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene, mirex, toxaphene
2. Industrial chemicals : hexachlorobenzene, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
3. By-products : hexachlorobenzene, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDF), PCBs
Chemicals Banned Under Stockholm Convention
Here is the list banned chemicals under Stockholm convention:
Aldrin is a kind of substance which has been used to kill termites and insects, including grasshopper, worm, and other pest. Aldrin can also being used to kill birds, fish, and humans. Toxic dose is estimated up to about five grams. Exposure to human mostly was done through dairy products and meats.
Chlordane has been used mainly to control termites and any other broad-spectrum of insecticide. This substance will remain in the soil for a long time, about half year. Lethal doses will be varied based on species. Chlordane will also affect human’s immune system and possibly classified as human carcinogen. This substance will be exposed to human by air.
DDT has been widely used during World War II to protect the civilians from malaria, typhus, and other diseases which has been spread by insects. Until now, DDT (which is a chemical found in pesticides) has been used widely to control termites and insects from agricultural crops. DDT could persist in the soil for 10 – 15 years. Long term exposure of DDT could cause any chronic health disease to humans. DDT has been also detected on breast milk, mother have to avoid the exposure of DDT in order to protect her child.
Dieldrin has been used to control termites and pests, including the diseases which have been caused by insects. The half-life of dieldrin in the soil is up to 5 years. Aldrin is rapidly converted into dieldrin. It means that concentration of dieldrin is highly enough to be toxic for fish and other aquatic animals, including frogs. Dieldrin has been found in air, water, soil, fish, bird, and any mammals, including human. The main source of this exposure will be food.
Endrin has been used as an insecticide which has been sprayed to the leaves of the crops. Endrin has also been used to control rodents, such as mice. Endrin will not be accumulated in animals’ body because of the metabolism in its body. However, endrin has persisted in the soil for up to 12 years. Moreover, endrin is highly toxic enough to the fish and could bring death for it. The primary route of exposure for human is through food.
Heptachlor has been primarily used to kill insects and termites. Heptachlor has been known to be accounted for the decreasing of several bird populations. High exposure of hepatachlor could be fatal to rats and rabbits. Lower doses will bring any behavioral changes and decreasing of reproductive system. Heptachlor is also been classified as human carcinogen. The major exposure will be done through food.
- Hexachlorobenzene (HCB)
Hexachlorobenzene is introduced first on 1945 to treat seeds. HCB kills fungi which affect food crops and has been used to control wheat. HCB is a byproduct of certain industrial chemicals production and has been existed as impurity in several pesticide formulations.
Exposure of HCB will show several symptoms, including photosensitive skin lesions, colic, and debilitation. Several people developed a metabolic disorder, which is called porphryria turcica. HCB could pass from mother to her infant through placenta and breast milk. In higher dose, HCB is lethal to some animals and at lower levels, it can bring harm for reproductive system.
Mirex is an insecticide which is used mainly to combat fire ants and other kinds of ants and termites. This substance has also been founded as a fire retardant in plastics, rubbers, and electrical goods. Direct exposure of mirex to human doesn’t cause any harm, but based on study on animals, mirex has possibly classified as human carcinogen.
Due to its study, mirex brings toxic to plant, fish, and crustaceans. Mirex has been considered as one of the most stable and persistent pesticides, which shelf life is up to 10 years. The main route of human exposure is through food, especially meat and fish.
Toxaphane is insecticide which habe been used on cotton, cereal grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Moreover, this substance has been used to control ticks and mites. Up to 50% of toxaphane can persist in soil for minimum 12 years. Toxaphane has contaminated any food for humans. The direct exposure of toxaphane isn’t really so high, but it could bring harm for human. Toxaphane has been classified as human carcinogenic substance due to its effect on animals. When exposed to this substance, commonly animals will reduce their weight and reduce their fertility.
Dioxin (PCDD-F) is a group of polychlorobenzodioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorodibenzofurans (PCDFs). Both of them have been classified in International Toxic Equivalents. Dioxin emissions can be from natural or industrial sources.
Dioxins can be resulted from forest fires and volcanic eruptions. Dioxans are very stable, not easily biodegrade and can accumulate easily in environment and living organism. Dioxin is a toxic chemicals and can be accumulated because it will easily absorbed by fat becoming an energy deposit.
In a short time period, the exposure could cause lesion on skin, such as skin coloring and changes of liver function. However, on a long time exposure, it could affect our immune system, nervous system, endocrine system, and reproductive system. Moreover, it could cause any cancer.
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
PCBs are a group of man-made organic chemicals which consists of carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine atoms. PCBs are oil to waxy solid which have no known taste or smell. PCBs are belonged to chlorinated hydrocarbons. PCBs have properties of inflammable, chemical-stabilized, high boiling point, and electricity.
PCB is one of chemicals which have been used in everyday life products, such as pigments, dyes, plasticizers, oil used in motors and hydraulic systems, and much more. Consumption of PCBs causes any adverse effects on human’s health. It could cause any cancer, including immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, endocrine system, and etc.
Those dangerous chemicals which have been banned under Stockholm Convention should be avoided to be exposed to human’s body and environment because they have been classified as harmful chemicals in the environment and human.