In an era where the use of chemicals in industry is unavoidable, almost all parts of environment are contaminated by certain degree of various chemicals. Some of them are not harmful, while the others may cause imbalance to nature. And when it comes to nature, it does not include animals, plants, and their habitat only. Humans are frequently in contact with them and need them for living. Thus, if the entire nature is in danger, so do humans. (Read Importance of Chemistry in Environment – Uses and Fields)
In order to prevent further damage in long-term period, government set regulation to help manage the circulation of chemicals use, especially in industry. There are many cases in which some of the chemicals used affected the workers and people who used or consumed it. Here are 7 List of Banned Toxic Chemicals Globally.
1. Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB)
Polychlorinated biphenyl is a chemical with compound structure C12H10-XClx. PCB was once used as coolers for electric products. This chemical usually has pale yellow color and insoluble to water. PCB has tendency to persist and hard to break down. Thus, the chemicals will get accumulated if it is often used. It is also resistant to change of temperature and only through complicated chemical process it will degrade. Also see List of Chemicals Used in Dyeing Industry.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer discovered polychlorinated biphenyl to be a human carcinogen. Being carcinogenic means the chemical will trigger the growth of cancerous cell if the chemical is accumulated within one’s body. Since it is persistent, it endangers the ecosystem as well, may kill some elements in food chain and disrupt nature’s balance. Thus, the chemical is banned.
2. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC)
Widely known as CFC, Chlorofluorocarbons were used to generate foam, pressure in aero spray, and as cooler. It was utilized widely in the production of refrigerator, air conditioner, and aerosols. The chemical has been used in industry for long until later reasearch found CFC to be toxic and extremely harmful to environment.
Chlorofluorocarbons or CFC can deplete ozone layer. Ozone layer is a very important element of atmosphere. It protects the earth from Ultra Violet radiation. Hence, if it gets thinner, the whole population on the earth are exposed to a very high danger to catch horrible and serious disease, from skin problem to cancer. CFC is the main culprit of global warming as well. Seeing how dangerous CFC is, health and labor organizations declare it to be one of the potential threat and should be banned.
Nitrofen is a chemical formerly used as herbicide. It is a colorless solid chemical with formula C12H7Cl2NO3. Nitrofen was a popular herbicide to get rid of plants that caused benefit loss to the growth of the main crops just like some pesticide listed in List of Banned Agricultural Chemicals that People Still Use. Poisonous and toxic, this chemical is effective and had been widely used until it is banned.
The reason of banning is because research found it to be highly toxic. When the research tested it to mice, it destroyed the pulmonary system. Highly lethal to animals, the use of it is severely declined. It is also believed to be a possible carcinogenic to human. Because of that, it has been banned in Europe and United States with other countries followed suit. Pay attention to list of banned toxic chemicals globally before you use.
4. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT)
Belongs to organochlorine with compound formula C14H9Cl5, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane or DDT was once an effective pesticide heavily used by farmers. It was once also used to control typhus and malaria. However, what was once a considered beneficial chemical turned out to be extremely hazardous both to environment and humans.
DDT is persistent and water insoluble. The degree of accumulation will increase and become more toxic as it accumulates within the higher level in food chain. It has caused population decline among the infected organisms. It is also disrupt female reproduction, causing premature birth and dysfunctional organs. Later, research also found out DDT to be carcinogenic.
Another banned chemical product is asbestos. Many countries ban this chemical because of its high toxicity and the potential danger it exposes. Asbestos is formed from silicane minerals with five various colors; red, green, blue, yellow, and white. People used it for insulation, fireproof, and mixed with materials for building. Being highly beneficial, people had utilized it widely used until cases related to the harm it caused surfaced to public.
The chemical is banned after research found asbestos to be toxic to organisms. Several cases of human’s death caused by asbestosis are deemed to be critical reason to completely ban the product. Long-term exposure to it through inhalation can cause lung cancer, asbestosis and other terminal diseases just like some chemicals listed in Chemicals in Cigarettes that Cause Cancer #Most Harmful Compounds. The use of asbestos is slowly decreasing because of its harm to health.
6. Hexavalent Chromium
Hexavalent Chromium is a chemical that was used for variety of uses in industry. From pigments in hair dye and paint, to anti corrosive agent for protective coating, hexavalent chromium is one of chemical that has various niches. Later, research found the chemical to be toxic, consequently leads to ban and restriction from countries around the world.
The long-term exposure to hexavalent chromium can cause damage to DNA and produce mutagenic agent. Thus, a mother or female organism who have this chemical accumulated in their bodies most likely will give birth to babies with dysfunctional organs. Constant exposure to this chemical also increases the risk of getting lung cancer.
Farmers formely used endosulfan as pesticide are found out to be persistent environment pollutant, including endosulfan. Endosulfan’s used was to get rid of pest in agriculture. It is also an effective poison for rats. Endosulfan is persistent and water insoluble, which then lead the chemical to be hard to degrade.
Due to its tendency to be difficult to break down, it has the potential to bioaccumulate. The accumulated chemical in one’s body can cause many health problem. For human, endosulfan can cause nerve discharging. In worst case, long-term exposure may lead to death.
Seeing as how dangerous those toxic chemicals can be, we should be careful in using utilities and consuming food to avoid list of banned toxic chemicals globally. Even though many countries ban the chemicals, it is not impossible for irresponsible parties to use it illegally. hence, it is better by doing prevention, read Usual Signs of Overexposure to Hazardous Chemicals Include.