Persistent Organic Pollutants - PDF

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Running head: LITERATURE REVIEW: PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTSLiterature review: Persistent Organic PollutantsName of the student:Name of the university:Author note:
1LITERATURE REVIEW: PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTSLiterature review:Definition of POPsPersistent organic pollutants or POPs may be defined as organic compounds whichare immune to environmental degradation by means of specific photolytic, biological andchemical processes. Owing to their nature, the POPs tend to bioaccumulate which has anadverse effect on health and the environment. In 2001, at the Stockholm Convention onPersistent Organic Pollutants, the first discussions on the harmful impacts of POPs took place(Xu, Wang & Cai, 2013). Such POPs are now garnering the attention of environmentconscience individuals around the world because they pose a severe threat because of theirlong range transport and persistence in the environment (Tang, 2013).Use of POPs: When and HowThe Stockholm Convention identified and specified the history of POPs. The firstinstance can be traced back to the 1940s, when it was used as a component of DDT; it wasthen used to combat insect borne diseases plaguing civil populations and the military(Kabasenche & Skinner, 2014). In DDT, the POPs are in the form of organochlorinepesticides (Mahmood et al., 2016). Industrial pesticides like chlordane and aldrin are used tokill corn rootworms, termites and other pests that affect crops. Industrial chemicals likehexachlorobenzene and polychlorinated biphenyls have been around since 1945 and are usedin electric transformers, plastic manufacture and as heat exchange fluid (Odabasi et al.,2015). Additionally, a number of industrial processes including PCDD (polychlorinateddibenzo – p – dioxins) and PCDF or dibenzofurans or dioxins result in POPs. The persistentorganic pollutants affect both the immunity and respiratory systems of human beings (Gasconet al., 2013).
2LITERATURE REVIEW: PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTSChallenges of POPsPersistent organic pollutants are toxic in nature and resistant to any chemical orbiological degradation processes; they may be chlorinated or halogenated and are lipophilic;when consumed by humans in some form or the other, they accumulate in the fatty tissues,thus affecting overall health of the individual (Ljunggren et al., 2014). POPs harm thereproductive, immune and endocrine systems of the body; they also affect the cardiovascularand respiratory systems of the body (Corsini et al., 2014). They might lead to behavioralproblems, diabetes, cancer and even thyroid (De Tata, 2014). As a matter of fact, POPs affectpregnant women as well; such exposure has increased the number of still births or babiesborn with birth defects (Robledo et al., 2015).Controlling regulations in developing and developed countriesWith a growing consciousness about the effects of persistent organic pollutants onhuman health, several measures have been adopted by developing and developed countries, incompliance with the guidelines mentioned in the Stockholm Convention. For example,Australia signed up to the convention in the year 2004, and since then has taken adequatemeasures to eliminate the POPs mentioned in the treaty. The Department of Sustainability,Environment, Water, Population and Communities is responsible for ensuring that theregulations of the Convention are followed and amendments are incorporated into thepolicies. With adequate measures in place, several of the POPs, like alphahexachlorocyclohexane, chlordecone, hexabromobiphenyl and beta hexachlorocyclohexane,have been completely eradicated(Department of the Environment and Energy, 2018). Also,regulations have been imposed in order to check the level of pesticides and waste incinerationin the country, in order to reduce release of POPs. Similarly, the Agricultural and VeterinaryChemicals Codes Act of 1994 prohibits the usage of lindane, another major source of POPs.
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