U.N. weighs pesticide watch list

March 22, 2010 at 11:10 AM
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NAIROBI, Kenya, March 22 (UPI) -- Two pesticides that have severe impacts on human health are under review by a U.N. panel examining chemical and pesticides for international trade in Kenya.

U.N. chemical experts have recommended that the pesticides endosulfan and azinphos-methyl be included in the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade.

A review committee for the Rotterdam Convention found the chemicals posed an "unacceptable risk" to human health, the U.N. Environment Program said.

The panel said endosulfan could cause reproductive and developmental damage. The insecticide is used primarily for cotton, coffee and tea.

Azinphos-methyl is derived from chemical nerve agents used as weapons during World War II. Its primary use is as an insecticide on several kinds of fruit trees.

The Rotterdam panel based its recommendation on reports from UNEP and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

Inclusion on the Rotterdam watch list requires an exporting nation to make sure no substance on the list is sent out of the country without the consent of the recipient.

The parties to the Rotterdam Convention will consider including endosulfan and azinphos-methyl at their regular meeting in 2011.

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