Persistent organic pollutants

Authored by: David Downie , Jessica Templeton

Routledge Handbook of Global Environmental Politics

Print publication date:  September  2013
Online publication date:  October  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415694209
eBook ISBN: 9780203799055
Adobe ISBN: 9781135090517


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As many as 70,000 chemicals have been widely used in agriculture, industry, and consumer products since the Second World War (Chasek et al. 2010: 140). Many of these chemicals are both extremely useful and harmless; others are less benign. In the early 1970s, governments in many industrialized countries began enacting national legislation to regulate the production and use of certain pesticides and industrial chemicals, with most starting with DDT and PCBs. Few developing countries followed suit, however, and as production and use expanded globally in the 1970s and 1980s, concern increased that no country acting alone could effectively address the issue.

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