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News Archive » SCP/RAC leads a working group on endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs) and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in marine litter plastics

SCP/RAC leads a working group on endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs) and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in marine litter plastics

26th January 2017
Plankton munching microplastic (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK.)

The SCP/RAC, as a regional center of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, has promoted and leads an informal working group on EDCs and POPs in plastics and microplastics in the marine environment. The group was formed during the past meeting of the Regionals Centers of the Basel and Stockholm conventions that took place on November 2016, with the aim to raise the issue of pollutants associated with plastic waste in the oceans into the next Conference of the Parties (COP) of the chemical conventions which will take place in May 2017.

Persistent plastics in the marine environment degrade physically into microplastics with an estimated life of hundreds of years, and its ingestion by marine biota is a potential hazard to the environment, its biodiversity and potentially to human health. The risks stem from the chemistry and physical properties of the plastics, their additives, coatings and also from the acquired pollutants from the environment, due to the hydrophobic properties of the plastics surface. EDCs affect the fertility of the species, which can have serious consequences on the biodiversity and viability of the marine ecosystems, increasing in the long term food vulnerability of millions of humans who have fish as staple food, especially in developing countries.

The output of the working group will be a document with considerations and recommendations to the parties of the Stockholm and Basel Convention on this issue

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