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Stockholm Convention Alternatives Guidance

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Title: General guidance on considerations related to alternatives and substitutes for listed persistent organic pollutants and candidate chemicals.

1. Elaborated by

Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, 2009.

2. Description

The guidance provides a general description of the issues to be considered in identifying and evaluating alternatives to listed persistent organic pollutants and candidate chemicals included in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. It is intended for use by the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee and by Parties when considering the listing of new persistent organic pollutants. It may also be useful for manufacturers or users of listed persistent organic pollutants and candidate chemicals in identifying and deploying alternatives.

The steps to be followed in the identification and evaluation of alternatives are:

  1. Collection of use and emission information of substances to be substituted.
  2. Identification of alternatives and assessment of the availability, technical feasibility, accessibility and efficacy of alternatives.
  3. Assessment of risks related to alternatives
    • Application of persistent organic pollutant screening criteria
    • Further considerations: the alternative chemical should not have hazardous properties that raise serious concern, such as mutagenicity, carcinogenicity or adverse effects on the reproductive, developmental, endocrine, immune or nervous systems; the risk resulting from the use of the alternative is considerably lower than that resulting from the use of persistent organic pollutants, in view of its known hazardous properties and exposure conditions.
  4. Social and economic assessment of alternatives
  5. Evaluation of alternatives. The information collected during the former steps should be presented in a concise manner to the Risk Assessment Committee who will take such information into account in considering the feasibility and availability of identified alternatives as part of the process of deciding whether to recommend the listing of a chemical in the annexes to the Convention and whether to recommend any specific exemptions. An example table for the evaluation of potential alternatives is included in the guidance.

3. Reliability

Very reliable method due to the wide variety of parameters assessed and its highly reliable sources of information that should be consulted.

4. Applicability

The guidance allows the assessment of chemical and non chemical alternatives (alternative processes or technologies). Most suitable for use for policy decisions. It is applicable only to chemical hazards and risks.

5. User friendliness

The guidance requires expertise and dedication to obtain the necessary information.

6. Limitations

The guidance requires specific training since it becomes necessary to consult databases and scientific literature. Not suitable for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

7. Availability

The guidance is available in several languages and free of charge at the Stockholm Convention website.

8. Links

Go to: chm.pops.int

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