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ECHA starts work on persistent organic pollutants


Under the revised POPs Regulation, ECHA has new tasks to support controlling some of the most hazardous pollutants. The aim is to protect our health and the environment from the effects of these toxic chemicals.

Helsinki, 15 July – ECHA starts working on scientific, technical and administrative tasks to identify and regulate persistent organic pollutants (POPs). These substances remain in the environment, bioaccumulate through the food chain, and pose a risk to the environment and human health. Due to their intrinsic properties, they can be transported across long distances, far from the locations where they have been produced or used.

The POPs Regulation bans or severely restricts the production and use of persistent organic pollutants in the European Union. The Agency will support the identification of new POPs substances. It will also act as an interface for reporting duties on implementing the regulation. This includes compiling and publishing information from the Member States on uses, volumes, releases, monitoring data, stockpiles and waste related to POPs, as well as supporting the Commission to review and update the future activities to further progress in combatting the risks caused by POPs.

Other tasks include promoting an exchange of information on POPs between various EU actors and third countries, helping the Commission’s work in the Stockholm Convention’s POPs Review Committee and supporting EU enforcement activities through ECHA’s Enforcement Forum.

In 2020, ECHA will integrate data on POPs to its chemicals database. This enables easier access to regulatory and hazard-related information on the substances that are being proposed as POPs and the substances that are already listed under the POPs Regulation. POPs are regulated worldwide by the Stockholm Convention and the Aarhus Protocol. These pieces of legislation are implemented in the European Union by the POPs Regulation.