China will make stronger efforts to implement the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) to protect human health and build an environmentally friendly society, a senior official from the national environmental regulator said in Beijing on Thursday.
Zhang Lijun, deputy director of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), made the remarks on the eve of the first anniversary of China's implementation of the convention on November 11 last year.
He said that, through arduous efforts in the face of tough challenges, the country has adopted a series of measures to phase out and control existing POPs and prevent further POP pollution.
POPs have been used for many purposes, most notably as pesticides.
He cited efforts to supervise the production, circulation, storage and disposal of the dangerous chemicals and research conducted to map out a strategic plan to control them.
China set up a national work group to coordinate efforts to implement the Stockholm Convention early this year, he said, and this group is responsible for examining policies, standards, laws and regulations governing POP control.
Zhang appreciated the international community for its support for China's efforts in POP control, pledging that the government would work more closely with other countries and international institutions for better implementation of the convention.
POPs are highly toxic and remain in the environment for a long time, accumulating in body tissues and spreading over long distances.
They can cause death and birth defects among humans and animals, as well as cancer, allergies and hypersensitivity, damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems, reproductive disorders, and disruption of the immune system.
The Stockholm Convention was passed in May 2001, requiring all parties to take necessary steps to ban the production and use of some of the most toxic POPs.
The 12 initial kinds to be covered are: aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, mirex, toxaphene, polychlorinated biphenols (PCBs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), dioxins and furans.
(Xinhua News Agency November 11, 2005)