Meetings Implementation Guidance Background UNEP POPs Programme


The 12 POPs under the Stockholm Convention

Aldrin A pesticide applied to soils to kill termites, grasshoppers, corn rootworm, and other insect pests.

Chlordane Used extensively to control termites and as a broad-spectrum insecticide on a range of agricultural crops.

DDT Perhaps the best known of the POPs, DDT was widely used during World War II to protect soldiers and civilians from malaria, typhus, and other diseases spread by insects. It continues to be applied against mosquitoes in several countries to control malaria.

Dieldrin Used principally to control termites and textile pests, dieldrin has also been used to control insect-borne diseases and insects living in agricultural soils.

Dioxins These chemicals are produced unintentionally due to incomplete combustion, as well as during the manufacture of certain pesticides and other chemicals. In addition, certain kinds of metal recycling and pulp and paper bleaching can release dioxins. Dioxins have also been found in automobile exhaust, tobacco smoke and wood and coal smoke.

Endrin This insecticide is sprayed on the leaves of crops such as cotton and grains. It is also used to control mice, voles and other rodents.

Furans These compounds are produced unintentionally from the same processes that release dioxins, and they are also found in commercial mixtures of PCBs.

Heptachlor Primarily employed to kill soil insects and termites, heptachlor has also been used more widely to kill cotton insects, grasshoppers, other crop pests, and malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) HCB kills fungi that affect food crops. It is also released as a byproduct during the manufacture of certain chemicals and as a result of the processes that give rise to dioxins and furans.

Mirex This insecticide is applied mainly to combat fire ants and other types of ants and termites. It has also been used as a fire retardant in plastics, rubber, and electrical goods.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) These compounds are employed in industry as heat exchange fluids, in electric transformers and capacitors, and as additives in paint, carbonless copy paper, sealants and plastics.

Toxaphene This insecticide, also called camphechlor, is applied to cotton, cereal grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. It has also been used to control ticks and mites in livestock.

Further reading:
Ridding the world of POPs - A guide to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants Ar; Ch; En; Fr; Ru; Sp


Calendar of Events Site info Search Contact us