Endosulfan, an organochlorine insecticide, has become the latest hazardous chemical to be added to the United Nations' list of persistent organic pollutants targeted for elimination, the U.N. Environment Program announced Tuesday.
The action on endosulfan, used as a pest control agent in cotton, coffee and tea farms worldwide, was approved by representatives from 127 governments meeting in Geneva because it is known to cause reproductive and developmental damage in both animals and humans.
The agreed to list endosulfan with specific exemptions, acknowledging the need for its use until a safe replacement can be developed.
"The conference recognized that financial and technical support is required to facilitate the replacement of the use of endosulfan in developing countries and countries with economies in transition," Achim Steiner, the U.N. program's executive director, said.