Ghana now has a baseline study to determine new Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the environment and in humans.
This follows a two-year study by researchers to determine the new POPs which are 18, making the total number thirty.
Persistent Organic Pollutants are chemicals of global concern due to their potential for long-range transport, persistence in the environment, ability to bio-magnify and bio-accumulate in ecosystems.
The study will assess the POPs situation in the country and how to get rid of them.
Director of Chemicals Control and Management at the Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. Sam Adu-Kumi in an interview with GBC News said the new POPs are found in everyday settings.
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is an international environmental treaty, signed in 2001 and took effect from May 2004. It aims at eliminating or restricting the production and use of persistent organic pollutants to protect human and environmental health.
Twelve POPs were initially listed in the Stockholm Convention and have since 2004 been banned or restricted. One of such chemicals is DDT which has been banned in the country since 1985.
Eighteen more of the POPs have been added to the list bringing the total to 30 as of January 2020. Being a party to the convention, Ghana benefitted from a Global Monitoring Plan GMP phase one between 2007 and 2012 in researching POPs in core areas such as air quality and breast milk of humans.
The GMP phase two which was between 2017 and 2018 added water to the research. The research included Scientists from the Water Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, and Ghana Standard Authority.
Dr. Sam Adu-Kumi, Director of Chemicals Control and Management Center at the Environmental Protection Agency, mentioned some of the things in homes and offices that contain some of the new POPs.
Persistent Organic Pollutants have been linked to cancer, damage to nervous systems, reproduction disorders and weakening of the immune system.
By: Joyce Gyekye.