|BRUSSELS - Nine \"nasty\" chemicals should be added to a list of 12 substances blamed for causing deaths and birth defects that are outlawed by a U.N. pact, the European Commission said yesterday.|
The European Union executive said it proposed banning the additional chemicals, which are all part of a group of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) - toxic substances said to accumulate in people\'s and animals\' bodies.
The headline on the press release was: \"Chemical pollution: Commission wants to rid the world of more nasty substances.\"
The 2001 Stockholm Convention, which entered into force on May 17 after ratification by 50 states, aims to ban or strictly control production, import, export, disposal and use of POPs.
Seventy-five parties have now ratified the Stockholm Convention, the Commission said. It said the European Union was expected to ratify in the autumn.
Environmental experts have said the Stockholm Convention\'s \"dirty dozen\" list should be expanded. The EU Commission said nine chemicals should be added to that list, while some of those nine should be added to 16 substances listed in the 1998 United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Protocol on POPs.
\"Although most of the industrial chemicals and pesticides with POPS properties have already been phased out in the EU, they still may be produced and used in other countries,\" the Commission said in a statement.
The chemicals it wants added include Octabromodiphenyl ether - a flame retardant - and polychlorinated naphtalenes, used for cable insulation.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE