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Implementing the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants: Summary of a Workshop in China INTRODUCTION The workshop “Strengthening Science-Based Decision Making--Implementing the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)” was held June 7-10, 2004, in Beijing, the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The design of the workshop benefited from the insights of individuals affiliated with several organizations, including the U.S. National Academies, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the State Environmental Protection Administration of China (SEPA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), the American Chemistry Council, the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), and others. The meeting was co-chaired by the Secretary General of SCOPE-China, Professor Yonglong Lu, and Distinguished Professor of Zoology at Michigan State University, John P. Giesy. The co-chairs emphasized the potential for enhancing environmental stewardship by building on China’s strong scientific capability and by fostering systems of decision making and environmental management that are based on strong science and communication. At the time of the workshop China was preparing to ratify the Convention and preparing a national implementation plan. Therefore, the workshop offered an important and timely opportunity to address science-based decision making for POPs reduction. One important step in developing strategies to reduce the production and use of POPs is to build strong linkages between scientists with relevant expertise and decisionmakers from the government, industry, and NGOs. The workshop was designed to enhance those linkages. The workshop was attended by 95 delegates from academia, government agencies, businesses and industries, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Although the majority of the participants were from academia and the federal government of China, very deliberate efforts were made to ensure that the perspectives of other relevant sectors including industry and nongovernmental organizaqtions were presented and discussed (see agenda in Appendix A). Participants came from several regions in China, including Beijing, Nanjing, Hong Kong, and Wuhan; the United States; and New Zealand. This diverse group was brought together to share strategies and lessons learned from their various perspectives, whether from different sectors, different countries, or both. Several participants reported that the opportunity to share perspectives with people from other sectors was a rare opportunity for them. The workshop featured many technical presentations, related to topics such as: risk assessments for POPS, risk communication, sources of exposure to POPs, monitoring techniques, POPs distribution in surface waters and effluents in Beijing, research needs, and occurence and behavior of POPs in selected areas of China. A number of the technical papers from the workshop were published in the August, 2005, issue of Chemosphere (the titles of these papers are included in Appendix E). Other presentations provided background or a policy perspective, including topics such as: international sources and inventories of POPs, alternatives to POPs, implementation of the Stockholm Convention in China, POPs regulation in China, the management of POPs in the United States, environmental management of chemicals in China, options for phasing out POPs, consideration of the addition of new substances to the list of POPs chemicals under the Stockholm Convention, and barriers to the implementation of the Stockholm
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Implementing the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants: Summary of a Workshop in China Convention in China. Several presentations were devoted to considering how to enhance scientific input into decision making and institutions that attempt to do so, including topics such as: the role of science in decision making, sources of science advice in the United States, improving the quality of science in regulatory decision making and science advice in the United States, private sector environmental management systems, roles of environmental NGOs in China, and scientific organizations that connect scientists and decisionmakers. Although numerous presentations were made, one of the most important features of the workshop was its discussion sessions. Workshop participants were divided into working groups and, drawing from their expertise and experience with POPs management, discussed at length questions such as: Where do decisionmakers get scientific advice? In what form do policymakers receive scientific advice? How can the decision-making process be facilitated through scientific input? Are there existing “bridging or boundary” organizations that can help create effective interface between scientists and decisionmakers, and provide “reliable and timely translations of information and views between the two communities”? What are some elements of good science advice? What can be done to improve communications, build trust? What do decision makers need from the science community? And, what does the science community need to understand about decisionmakers? Because many of the technical papers from the workshop were already published in Chemosphere and many of the workshop presentations are available via the Internet1, this workshop summary focuses primarily on issues that were highlighted during the workshop discussions, which coincide with the major themes of the “Strengthening Science-Based Decision Making” workshop series. Additional “Strengthening Science-Based Decision Making in Developing Countries” project information is available at: http://www.nationalacademies.org/sustainability/type2. General Background on POPs and the Stockholm Convention According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), POPS are defined as follows: POPs are chemical substances that persist in the environment, bioaccumulate through the food web, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment. With the evidence of long-range transport of these substances to regions where they have never been used or produced and the consequent threats they pose to the environment of the whole globe, the international community has now, at several occasions called for urgent global actions to reduce and eliminate releases of these chemicals. (http://www.chem.unep.ch/pops/) In 2001, more than 90 countries signed an international treaty, the Stockholm Convention, agreeing to reduce or eliminate the production, use and release of 12 POPs. Both China and the 1 See http://www7.nationalacademies.org/sustainabilityroundtable/Beijing_Workshop_Presentations.html
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Implementing the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants: Summary of a Workshop in China U.S. were actively involved in the negotiations and were signatories to the treaty. The Convention was formally ratified by the National People’s Congress of China on June 25, 2004, and came into force on November 11th, 2004. As of December 2006, the United States had not ratified the treaty. POPS currently regulated under the Convention include: pesticides such as aldrin, chlorodane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, mirex and toxaphene; chemicals with industrial applications such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)2 and chemical byproducts such as dioxins and furans; and hexachlorodbenzene, which fits in all three categories.3 Human Exposure and Health Effects Humans can be exposed to POPs through diet, occupational exposures (for example, farmworkers may be exposed to POPs through pesticides), industrial accidents and the environment (including indoor exposure). Exposure to POPs, either acute or chronic, can be associated with a wide range of adverse health effects, including illness and death (L. Ritter et al., 1995). Laboratory animal studies and wildlife studies have associated POPs with endocrine disruption, reproductive and immune dysfunction, neurobehavioral disorders and cancer. More recently, some POPs have also been connected to reduced immunity in infants and children and a concomitant increase in infections. Other studies have linked POPS concentrations in humans with developmental abnormalities, neurobehavioral impairment and cancer and tumor induction or promotion.4 The POPs Situation in China: Current Production and Use, Related Polices, and Specific Plans for Implementation of the Stockholm Convention A workshop participant reported that China has phased out the production and use of five of the POPs covered by the Stockholm Convention—aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, toxaphene and heptachlor. He explained that chlordane and mirex are still produced in limited quantities for termite protection and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) is still produced for use as a chemical feedstock. Mirex 2 PCBs can also be chemical byproducts. 3 Other chemicals may be added to the treaty by in the future based on recommendations from the POPs Review Committee. 4 See also: Dewailly E, Ayotte P, Bruneau S, et al. Susceptibility to infections and immune status in Inuit infants exposed to organochlorines. Environ Health Perspect 2000;108(3):205-10. Patandin S, Koopman-Esseboom C, de Riddr MA, et al. Effects of environmental exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins on birth size and growth in Dutch children. Pedeatr Res 1998;44(4): 538-45.Kim HA, Kim EM, Park YC, et al. Immunotoxicological effects of Agent Orange exposure to the Vietnam War Korean veterans. Ind Health 2003;41(3):158-66. Baccarelli A, Mocarelli P, Patterson DG, et al. Immunologic effects of dioxin: new results from Seveso and comparison with other studies. Environ Health Perspect 2002;110(12):1169-73. Longnecker MP, Rogan WJ, Lucier G. The Human Health Effects of DDT and PCBs and an overview of organochlorines in public health. Ann Review Public Health 1997;18: 211-244.
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Implementing the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants: Summary of a Workshop in China production is estimated at 15 tons and chlorodane output is about 365 tons. 5 A participant pointed out that the number of facilities producing DDT has declined from 11 to 2 and its use in agriculture has been banned since 1983. Current production is estimated to be about 3250 tons, used primatrily to produce antifouling paint, mosquito repellant incense, and as an intermediate for dicofol production. PCB production has been banned since 1974 but the management and disposal of PCB containing electrical equipment is still a problem. Dioxins and furans (unintentional byproducts) continue to be released by various industrial and combustion processes. (Note-China has filed requests for specific exemptions to the Stockholm agreement for the continued production and use of cholordane, mirex, and DDT.6) Comprehensive information on contamination by all of the POPs is not available for China. However, some monitoring information is available. For example, information on PCBs indicates that contamination is greatest in the industrialized areas of the coast. Sediments in the Pearl River and its estuary, Dalian Bay and the Songhua River had relatively high levels of PCBs. There were also some areas, mainly the industrial pollution sites or PCB equipment storage locations, which remain seriously polluted with high PCB residue levels. (Xing et al., 2005; See list of published papers.) China has promulgated a number of laws and regulations to protect human health and environment and to manage chemicals. However, there is no specific legislation on POPs. There are two different sets of regulations related to POPs and pollutants similar to POPs—one on the management of pesticides and one on wastes and chemicals. There is a comprehensive pesticide law regulating the import and export, registration, production, utilization, management, and transportation of pesticides. The regulations officially prohibit the production, use or trade of chemicals such as HCB, HCH and DDT. There is no integrated system for non-pesticide POPs. Participants suggested that regulations and applicable standards for reduction and control of the POPs contamination and emission need to be established, amended and improved. In September, 2004 China began drafting a National Implementation Plan for the Stockholm Convention which is expected to be completed in late 2006. The NIP content is expected to include activities to strengthen national coordination and monitoring capacity; presenting national POPs inventories (production, trade, use, disposal and so on); building institutional capacity; a legislative framework for control and management, regulation, enforcement, health and socio-economic aspects; setting priorities and objectives towards compliance, action plans and budgeted investment portfolio. Nearly all the stakeholders are involved including, State Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of 5 Data source: China’s National Implementation Plan for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, draft 12 June 2006 6 www.pops.int/documents/registers/specexempt.htm Note: At present, there are no cost-effective alternatives or alternative technologies for cholordane and mirex as termiticide, and DDT as the additive of antifouling paint in China. China reportedly plans to eliminate the use and production of chlordane and mirex before 2009 and to elimate the use of DDT as the additive of antifouling paint and as an intermediary in the production of dicofol between 2008 and 2014. (Press release Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States, June 22,2006.)
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Implementing the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants: Summary of a Workshop in China Health, Ministry of Construction, SEPA, Customs General Administration, and State Electricity Regulatory Commission. In addition, an expert panel, consisting of specialists in the fields of strategy and planning, alternatives, clean-up technologies, remediation, monitoring, social and economic assessment, environment and human health impact assessment, etc., was established to provide technical advice and support for Convention implementation activities. A research network affiliated with many institutes and universities was also constructed to conduct POPs related research, such as inventorying pesticide POPs and PCBs, POPs toxicity impact on women and children, clean-up technology, identification and implementation of alternative measures and chemicals. Several demonstration projects have also been started to assess management and disposal options as well as alternatives to POPs currently used in China. Science and Decision Making Several presentations were made during the workshop on the general role of science in decision making-- the elements of good science; sources of scientific information; the role of bridging institutions; and approaches to improving communications between scientists and decisionmakers. Barriers to using science were also discussed. Elements of good science: Several of the presentations focused on the importance of good science in making decisions. Presenters suggested that the quality of science used in developing regulations must be based on its inherent merits no matter the source and that certain minimum requirements should be met. These requirements included; using standard guidelines and protocols, protecting human subjects, disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest (financial, ideological, or other), and implementation of programs to assure transparency and accountability. Specific tools that can be applied include the use of peer reviewed publications to report findings, public access data bases, providing opportunities for input from a variety of stakeholders, and recognition of disagreement and dissent. Sources of information: Possible sources of scientific information include: advocacy groups, the media, universities or other research organizations, government agencies, contract research, NGOs, and scientific publications. In the case of POPs decisionmakers have gotten scientific advice from international conferences; the internet, and scientific journals. There are also professional organizations such as Stockholm Convention Implementation Office of SEPA (CIO). Participants suggested that it was important to build trust and to develop open and transparent processes. They emphasized the importance of using risk assessments as way to organize information which is to be communicated to decisionmakers and to the public. Communications: Participants pointed out that although communication between scientists and decisionmakers clearly could be improved, both in the United States and in China, communication within the scientific community and among decision-making entities also leaves room for improvement. At the present time, several ministries in China have jurisdiction over
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Implementing the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants: Summary of a Workshop in China POPs management. Better communication and cooperation among the multiple bodies in charge of POPs management, such as the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Construction, State Environmental Protection Administration, and others can go a long way towards reducing redundancies and ensuring that policies complement one another. Many of the scientists at the meeting pointed out that a large number of studies are being conducted on POPs in China, but that scientists often are not aware of much of the relevant work and do not communicate consistently with a broad community of scientists. Furthermore, Chinese scientists may not be able to easily access the international scientific literature on POPs since most of the technical information is not translated into Chinese. Finally, some participants, from both China and especially those from the United States, emphasized that communication among decisionmakers does not mean only intra-governmental communication. Industry (factories) and farmers are key decisionmakers regarding the production and application of POPs. Communication among private sector decisionmakers regarding effective alternatives and management techniques is critical. Communication between government and private sector decisionmakers is also extremely important because it ensures that private sector decisionmakers are aware of the government’s POPs management policies and it can ensure that the government takes into account the private sector’s concerns and potential for change when developing policies. Finally, ongoing communication among scientists, engineers, and the private sector (including private sector decisionmakers and the scientists and engineers employed in the private sector) can help. Bridging organizations: In presentations on the functioning of the academies made by Dr. Riesa and Prof. Lu, the National Academies of both the United States and China, were offered as good examples of institutions that link scientists and decision makers. Features that help the Academies maintain credibility and authority include its independence, objectivity, and relevance to decision making. Barriers: Participants noted many barriers to timely and effective information exchange and suggested approaches for reducing such barriers. For example, information must be provided in a way that is easily understandable. In scientific research, it is generally considered to be important to thoroughly explain the complexity of what is examined and to clarify levels of uncertainty. Technical jargon is used to thoroughly ensure that the complex issues are properly understood by other scientists. In contrast, decision makers tend to want information that is concise, clear, accurate, relevant, transparent, and readily understandable. They can be uncomfortable with uncertainty. Scientists also need to clarify information as to whether it is based on scientific consensus vs. professional opinion. Scientists and decision makers need to recognize that they have somewhat different goals and determine when and how they can bring these goals closer together. A scientist’s primary goal tends to be publication of research in quality journals. In the context of POPs, scientists’ studies seek to understand the nature of POPs and their effects on the environment and on humans. In contrast, decisionmakers’ goals are to develop appropriate policies to prevent or mitigate harm to humans and the environment. Although those decisions can be informed by scientific research, the information they need from research – “what are the costs and what will be the effects of
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Implementing the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants: Summary of a Workshop in China these various policy options” – is often different from the type of information that scientists research for publication in journals. In addition, for decisionmakers, scientific information is just one of many factors that they must take into consideration, such as economic, social, and cultural circumstances. Research studies are often rather narrowly focused but the information decision makers need to solve emerging environmental problems is complex and requires extensive integration among disciplines. Existing Research on POPs in China During the workshop a number of presentations were made illustrating the wide range of research currently being done. These covered issues such as measurement and assessment of POPs in the Hong Kong and Pearl River Marine Environment, Effects of Selected POPs on Soil Micro fauna, Fate modeling of HCH in Tianjin, and Patterns of Dioxins and Furan Concentrations in the Fly Ash of Municipal Incinerators. A number of the technical presentations are being published in Chemosphere (See list of published papers). 7 Research interest in POPs appears to be a relatively recent phenomenon with a dramatic increase in the POPs related publications since 1993. Despite a significant number of research studies most of this is limited to studies of field exposure and analytical methods with few studies on risk assessment, alternatives to POPs or management and disposal techniques. Some participants pointed out that there have been few studies in China assessing the long-term effects of POPs on people or critical ecosystems, studies that would be particularly useful for decisionmakers and for increasing public awareness of the problems posed by such chemicals. Information Needs of decision makers Based on discussions during the workshop and the results of a questionnaire (See Appendix C) distributed to the participants the following priorities were identified: Impacts on human health and environmental quality: Participants pointed out that although many studies are being undertaken, there is still little comprehensive understanding of levels of exposures and the impact of such exposures on human health or the specific effects of POPs on ecosystems in China. 7 The Distribution Pattern of PCDD/Fs in Chlorinated Chemicals, Wu Yongning; Residues of organochlorine pesticides (DDTs and HCHs) in soils from the outskirts of Beijing, China, Xu Xiaobai; Three-dimensional quantitative structure activity relationship (3D-QSAR) analysis for toxicity of chlorophenols on HepG2 cells in vitro, Yu H X; Inhibition Effect of Calcium Oxide on PCDD/Fs Formation from Dioxin Precursors, Zheng Minghui; Synergic effect of calcium oxide and iron (III) oxide on the dechlorination of hexachlorobenzene, Zheng Minghui; Do cadmium and atrazine interact in the uptake processes by rice seedlings (Oryza sativa L.) from nutrient solution?, Zhu Yong-Guan; Classification and Ordination of DDT and HCH in soil samples from the Guanting Reservoir, China, Lu Yonglong; A Spatial Temporal Assessment of Pollution from PCBs in China , Lu Yonglong; Determination of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in soil and sediment from an electronic waste recycling area, Cai Zongwei; Determination of polycyclic musks in sewage sludge using GC-EI-MS, Fu Jiamo; Synergistic Effects of Microwave Assisted Advanced Oxidation Processes on Degradation of 4-Chlorophenol, Lu Xiaohua; A review on the useage of POP Pesticides in China, with emphasis on DDT loadings in Human milk., M. H. Wong, A. Leung, J. Chan and M. Cho
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Implementing the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants: Summary of a Workshop in China Substitutes and clean technologies: There seems to be little, readily available information on alternatives to POPs in China, although there is some international literature on this subject, not all of the substitutes work in all situations and some are prohibitively expensive. In particular, participants suggested that cost-effective appropriate substitutes of mirex and chlordane are badly needed for application in China. Policy Needs Laws and Regulations: Scientists at the symposium pointed to several opportunities for science to inform regulations, standards, and technical norms. To enforce the POPs Convention in China, as in the United States, some existing laws would need to be amended. Some participants listed the following laws in China as the most relevant in that context: 1) Law for Water Pollution Prevention and Control, 2) Law for Air Pollution Prevention and Control, 3) Law for Solid Waste Pollution Prevention and Control, 4) the Regulations on Safe Management of Dangerous Chemicals and 5) Regulations for Pesticide Management. The potential revision of these laws would be an opportunity for scientists to make their POPs research useful to decisionmakers and for decisionmakers to let their decisions be informed by science. One presenter focused on better integrating POPs control into existing environmental standards and technical norms. For example, he argued that standards for DDT and other relevant POPs be integrated into existing Integrated Emission Standards of Air Pollutants; the discharge standard of DDT and other pertinent POPs could be integrated into existing Integrated Waste Water Discharge Standard; the Rule on Construction Technology of Termite Prevention Engineering for Buildings could be revised according to the assessment on the substitutes and the Chlordane phase out strategy; the indicator of POPs residue content could be included in the existing pesticide quality standards; and the sanitary standards on residue limitation and re-residue limitation of pesticide POPs in foodstuff could be revised to better acknowledge the current state of the science. Provisions and criteria should be established for the production and management of intermediates containing POPs. The Name List for Hazardous Chemicals Banned and Restricted Strictly should be adjusted to add Mirex and other emerging POPs related toxic chemicals into the controlled substances subject to the Environmental Management Registration System for Import/Export of Toxic Chemicals. A series of practical actions should be taken for the phase-out of POPs drawing on and exchanging experience from developed countries in POPs management, constituting and implement long and mid term strategies and action plans for POPs control and reduction, preventing and reducing illegal trans-boundary transport and trade in hazardous products, introducing the risk-reduction program for hazardous chemicals, harmonizing classification and labeling of chemicals, developing environmentally sound substitutes, and taking precautionary measures against POPs generation. Development of funding and management mechanisms for the Stockholm Convention implementation is the most important for the near-term decision making and practical actions.
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Implementing the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants: Summary of a Workshop in China Proposals for Additional Research and Data Collection Monitoring: The environmental monitoring of POPs is very limited in China, and the nationwide pollution status of POPs is still unclear. A few participants listed the greatest monitoring needs as those for conducting monitoring of both pollution sources and environmental behavior of POPs. Although life-cycle monitoring of chemicals has been applied to chemical management in some developed countries, some participants pointed out that in China it is still at an initial stage. The existing monitoring programs and studies mainly focus on DDT and HCH, rarely on other pesticide POPs. The pollution and risk impacts induced by chlordane, mirex and HCB need to be further studied and the nationwide investigation on the pesticide POPs should be carried out. Some, but not all of the methods for monitoring and analyzing PCBs are less sophisticated in China than in some other more developed countries. While some laboratories are conducting very sophisticated analyses that meet international norms, not all monitoring programs are making use of this specialized expertise. Monitoring programs are less well developed compared with international standards and analytical methods. Statistical designs for ecological monitoring must be improved. It is urgent for China to establish a standard monitoring system in line with international regulations. The monitoring system for dioxins and furans in China has not yet been well developed. The further development of qualified supervisory capabilities to monitor the unintentional by-products, and the exact pollution sources and pollution status of dioxin and furan is encouraged. Human Health: At present, studies on the impact of POPs on human health are very limited in China. Most of the existing literature is focused on dietary studies, as the food chain is considered a major pathway for POPs to effect human health. Information on human health effects such as body burden and metabolism is insufficient and generally extrapolated from modeling data because few doctors have been involved in research on POPs exposures in China. Other exposures through respiration and skin as well as air and soil are seldom studied. Workshop participants suggested that additional research should be conducted on the human health effects of POPs and that systems be established to promote the standardization of toxicity measurement of chemicals and to assess the qualifications of laboratories for toxicity appraisal. Furthermore, Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) laboratories need to be popularized in China to improve the quality and reliability of monitored data. Risk assessment: Some participants suggested that further development and validation of appropriate methods to assess the ecological risks of chemical agents are required. Dose-response curves should be established at the community and ecosystem levels. Several participants suggested that when applying for an exemption of chemicals according to the Stockholm Convention, China might need to support its application with risk-based analysis. They explained that improved analysis of exposures and toxicity in non-temperate biomes would be needed for such an exemption. Ecosystem characterization: Long-term monitoring should continue in order to enable estimation of natural variability, as well as to establish a baseline against which to evaluate the effects of disturbances. Standard environmental risk assessment approaches may not be useful if the components of the ecosystem in question have not been determined. Further research on
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Implementing the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants: Summary of a Workshop in China characterizing pristine ecosystems is needed to enable scientists to identify and quantify deviations from natural conditions. Accidental discharges of chemicals should be recognized as opportunities to improve our understanding of an ecosystem's inherent resilience and capacity for recovery. Information gained from accidents can be especially valuable in China where ecosystems are generally poorly characterized and where the fate and effects of pollutants are not well-documented. It is particularly important to understand the POPs dose-response relationship in some keystone species in the ecosystem, especially at pollution sites. POPs and their breakdown products should be continually monitored and the incremental environmental and health risk from exposures should be periodically assessed. Studies of synergistic and antagonistic interactions among chemicals should be expanded to allow for assessing the cumulative effects of POPs on ecosystems. Accessibility: Many participants stressed that in order to avoid duplication of work and to enable scientists and decisionmakers to more readily make use of research results, it would be helpful to develop mechanisms to publish information periodically or share the information among the parties. Datasets should be expanded based on additional baseline environmental sampling programs and stronger quality control. Some Chinese participants explained that data from other sources (e.g. industry bulletin, mass media) are not collected in a standardized way and the data sources are often not made available, resulting in questionable reliability and making it difficult to compare across data sets. Data archiving and management systems should be established for local use. A few participants suggested that it would be especially helpful if existing websites related to POPs, especially the SEPA website, were improved to include information and links that include information on how the data were developed, how they were intended to be used, and the current state of the science. Opportunities for feedback could facilitate ongoing improvements. The Roles of Key Stakeholders Industry: Industry is responsible for manufacturing, transporting and using POPs. However, not all industries have taken measures to reduce the use of POPs or to limit exposure. Limited funding, low-level technology, out of date or inadequate facilities, poor training of staff, and focus on other pollutants may limit incentives for action. Participants stressed that POPs reduction can only be effective with the cooperation and leadership of industry. They emphasized that industry needs more support, encouragement, and guidance to build its capacity in this area. Industry can take useful steps of its own accord by employing risk assessment, best engineering practices, and sustainability principles in a prevention-oriented environmental management system. Such systems can lead to continuous performance improvement. One of the examples discussed during the panel sessions showed how Dow Chemical established and implemented a program of 10 year goals to promote emission reductions. The case study also highlighted the role of science in corporate decision making not just in the decision making of governments. In the action of pollution mitigation, industry should make good use of social science and natural science. For example, large sized package of pesticides often result in excessive pesticide use, in this regard, using the smaller sized package of pesticides is not only economically beneficial, but
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Implementing the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants: Summary of a Workshop in China also an effective measure to control pollution. Presenting the emission inventory and giving the materials balance analysis are important tasks depending on natural science. NGOs: Many environmental NGOs in China are committed to promoting sound science and to influencing the development of rational environmental policies, laws, and regulations. However, participants indicated that NGOs in China have had only limited involvement in decisions on POPs control. Participants identified current and potential roles for NGOs, including dissemination of science-based research, improving public awareness, and helping build capacity. They can also build bridges among academia, business, and government. Some participants mentioned that NGOs in China often do not have the resources to employ technical staff, so their science capacity is not as strong as ideal. One NGO representative explained that some NGOs would also like to build their own science capacity in order to better inform the public and decisionmakers. Other interested parties: In addition to government officials, scientists, plant managers and NGOs, participants pointed out that there are other important interested parties, such as farmers, workers, and the public. Although the workshop did not explicitly focus on such groups, many participants emphasized that these groups are affected by POPs and could benefit from more information about the pollutants. For example, farmers in China tend to be less aware or unaware of the hazards of POPs and do not have the technologies for proper usage of pesticides or substitute chemicals. Workers are not fully informed of or getting used to safety procedures set for hazardous chemicals production, transportation, and disposal. In some cases, the safety procedures are even unavailable for the workers. To date there has been limited involvement of the public in POPs related issues. In part this is because the results of scientific research on the harmful effects of POPs have not been published in mainstream media. Follow Up Several suggestions for follow-up activities were discussed by participants. These focused on joint collaboration between the US and China; recommendations to the scientific community, and to the government. A few of these suggestions are noted below: Joint collaboration: Exchange programs specific to POPs, including exchange of information on POPs, exchanges between POPs experts and personnel charged with convention implementation; a series of smaller workshops to address specific topics such as risk-based analysis, trace analysis, POPs substitutes, exposure and fate, impacts on human health, impacts on ecosystem health; establishment of a virtual center between National Academy of Sciences (NAS) & Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS); a publication exchange program and collaborative policy-relevant research. Scientific Community: Scientists should give higher priority to research addressing specific local problems rather than focusing almost exclusively on sophisticated science that is not strongly connected to the needs of decision makers in government or industry responsible for eliminating POPs. For example, several participants emphasized that priority should be given to the development of new methods to control and reduce POPs, and most importantly to find replacements. Many participants pointed out that scientists can play an important role in helping to develop cost-effective tools for reduction and control of POPs.
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Implementing the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants: Summary of a Workshop in China Scientists should also seek to strengthen their communications with government and other stakeholders. Not only will this assure that decisionmakers have access to good science but it will improve their prospects for financial support. Industry: Industry associations are increasingly important in China. They should serve their own enterprises, reflect their voices, protect the rights and the interests of their members, assist government to improve industry management, improve technical advancement and industry update by focusing on economic benefits and industry restructuring. Communication and exchange with industry associations in developed countries can help them learn more about fulfilling these roles. Government: Programs related to dissemination, training, consultation and education should be accorded higher priority, in order to help stakeholders fully understand the adverse impacts of POPs and to encourage the use of alternatives. More emphasis should be given to protecting and reducing POPs exposures for sensitive groups such as infants, fish consumers, and people residing near local sources of contamination.
Representative terms from entire chapter: