ChemSec has been a partner in a UNEP pilot project to identify ‘POPs-free' consumer products, meaning that they do not contain any persistent organic pollutants (POPs) as defined by the Stockholm Convention.
POPs are chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods of time, accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife, and have adverse effects on human health and the environment.
The exchange of information on alternatives and substitutes to POPs by industry and professional users is essential for the phase out of the production and use of POPs, as stated in Articles 9 and 10 of the Stockholm Convention.
The aim of the POPs-free project, launched in Autumn 2010, is to highlight examples of products free from POPs and using safer alternatives instead. Manufacturers and retailers were encouraged to provide this information.
Utilising ChemSec's business contacts, the project highlighted good practice in progressive companies already employing a pro-active and strategic chemical management.
The project also set out a pilot definition of what it means for a product to be POPs-free.
A ChemSec contact, Paxymer AB, was selected as one of two companies to take part in this UN pilot project. Paxymer AB's flame retardant system was analysed by the Environmental Agency of Austria and classified as 'POPs-free'.
The Paxymer system for controlling the burning process is made up of pellets that are melted into plastic materials used in e.g. electrical pipes, switches, circuit breakers, and engine parts for trucks. The Paxymer flame retardant system contains neither brominated flame retardants nor POPs listed in Annexes A, B or C of the Convention.