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Pesticide TBT added to U.N. trade watch list

04.11.2008
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Chemické látky
Pesticide TBT added to U.N. trade watch list
ROME (Reuters) - A pesticide in paints used on the outside of ships has been added to a "watch list" to protect countries from importing toxic products, the United Nations said on Monday.

Tributyltin (TBT) becomes the 40th chemical to be put on the "prior informed consent" (PIC) list. Exporters wishing to ship items on this list must get permission from importing countries.

Products already on the list include mercury compounds 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 in Rome last week of the Rotterdam Convention, 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.

(Reporting by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Catherine Bosley)

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