The U.N. has placed tributyltin (TBT), a pesticide used in paints, on a watch list that seeks to prevent the importation of toxic products.
The Rotterdam Convention forbids the export of any product that is not on the list annexed to the Convention without the importing country having been informed in advance of the potential dangers associated with the product in question and having given its consent in full knowledge of these dangers (so-called "prior informed consent" or PIC). Decisions at the Rotterdam Convention meeting:
The pesticide, used on the outside of ships, is the 40th chemical to be placed on the "prior informed consent" list, which requires exporters to get permission from importing countries before shipping the items.
Products already on the list include mercury compounds, tetraethyllead (TEL) and tetramethyllead and the insecticides DDT and lindane. TBT is used in “antifouling paints” to keep molluscs off ship hulls. But it is also highly polluting and deadly to other marine life.
At a meeting of the Rotterdam Convention in Rome last week (October 31, 2008) , which governs the PIC list, delegates failed to agree on adding two other chemicals: endosulfan, a pesticide used in cotton production, and chrysotile, or white, asbestos, a cancer-causing mineral used in building materials.
Chemicals can only be added to the PIC list if signatories to the 1998 convention reach consensus. Environmental campaigners say business interests can often successfully lobby against products being added even if scientific evidence shows they are dangerous to human health and the environment.Related Information Rotterdam Convention (official web site) PIC list of restricted chemicalsRelated EVISA Resources EVISA Link Database: All about TBT EVISA Information: The role of elemental speciation in legislation
Related News EVISA News, September 18, 2008: REACH Update: List of 300 chemicals of very high concern EVISA News, September 18, 2008: Tributyltin canned EVISA News, June 21, 2008: TBT and other Persistent Man-Made Chemical Pollutants Found in Deep-Sea Octopods and Squids EVISA News, June 5, 2008: Organotin ban in hull paint begins in September EVISA News, September 20, 2007: TBT-ban convention ratified EVISA News, November 16, 2006: A silent pandemic: Industrial chemicals are impairing the brain development of children worldwide EVISA News, October 11, 2006: TBT from antifouling paint is still endangering marine life, says WWF EVISA News, July 18, 2006: Lead pollution by gasoline - a persisting problem
last time modified: November 5, 2008