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Stockholm Convention Launches POPs-Free Initiative

April 2011: The Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention has launched an initiative on products and processes free of persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

According to the Secretariat, the initiative seeks to encourage consumer product manufacturers and retailers who have phased out POPs to provide information on POPs-free products, and on possible alternatives and substitutes, and processes for introducing such alternatives and substitutes.

In the pilot phase of the project, two entities agreed to have their products tested for POPs through a laboratory hosted by the Environment Agency of Austria. These products included: the LiceMeister comb, a potential alternative to pharmaceutical applications containing lindane, listed under annex A of the Convention with a specific exemption; and Paxymer, a flame retardant that is free of brominated flame retardants and POPs listed in Annex A, B or C of the Convention. [Stockholm Convention Website]