Aarhus Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants

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The Aarhus Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants, a 1998 protocol on persistent organic pollutants (POPs), is an addition to the 1979 Geneva Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP). The Aarhus POPs Protocol seeks “to control, reduce or eliminate discharge, emissions and losses of persistent organic pollutants” in Europe, some former Soviet Union countries, and the United States.

The protocol was amended on 18 December 2009, but the amended version has not yet come into force.

As of May 2013, the protocol has been ratified by 31 states and the European Union.

In the United States, the protocol is an executive agreement that does not require Senate approval. However, legislation is needed to resolve inconsistencies between provisions of the protocol and existing U.S. laws (specifically the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act).


The following substances are contained in the CLRTAP POPs Protocol.[1]

POP Inclusion
Aldrin Originally included
Chlordane Originally included
Dieldrin Originally included
Endrin Originally included
Heptachlor Originally included
Hexachlorobenzene Originally included
Mirex Originally included
Toxaphene Originally included
PCBs Originally included
DDT Originally included
PCDDs/PCDFs Originally included
Chlordecone Originally included
Hexachlorocyclohexanes Originally included
Hexabromobiphenyl Originally included
PAHs Originally included
Pentabromodiphenyl ether Recognized
Octabromodiphenyl ether Recognized
Pentachlorobenzene Recognized
PFOS Recognized
Hexachlorobutadiene Recognized
PCNs Recognized
SCCPs Recognized


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