The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, recently banned seven Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) listed under Stockholm Convention.
“With today’s decision India is sending out a positive message to the world that we are active in this area and we do not tolerate health & environmental hazard,” said Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
Seven chemicals that are hazardous to health & environment have been banned. India is sending out a positive message to the world that we are active in this area & we do not tolerate health & environmental hazard.#CabinetDecisions pic.twitter.com/KShaBh34yM
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) October 7, 2020
The Stockholm Convention is a global treaty to protect human health and environment from POPs, which are identified chemical substances that persist in the environment, bio-accumulate in living organisms, adversely affect human health/ environment and have the property of long-range environmental transport.
Exposure to POPs can lead to cancer, damage to central and peripheral nervous systems, diseases of immune system, reproductive disorders and interference with normal infant and child development. POPs get listed in the Stockholm Convention after thorough scientific research, deliberations and negotiations among member countries.
Under provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the government has prohibited the manufacture, trade, use, import and export seven chemicals namely (i) Chlordecone, (ii) Hexabromobiphenyl, (iii) Hexabromodiphenyl ether and Heptabromodiphenylether (Commercial octa-BDE), (iv) Tetrabromodiphenyl ether and Pentabromodiphenyl ether (Commercial penta-BDE), (v) Pentachlorobenzene, (vi) Hexabromocyclododecane, and (vii) Hexachlorobutadiene, which were already listed as POPs under Stockholm Convention.
India had ratified the Stockholm Convention on January 13, 2006 as per Article 25(4), which enabled it to keep itself in a default “opt-out” position such that amendments in various Annexes of the convention cannot be enforced on it unless an instrument of ratification/ acceptance/ approval or accession is explicitly deposited with UN depositary.