The Illegal Trade in Chemicals

materials such as foam and plastics that contain banned PentaBDE and OctaBDE to be recycled until 2030. These chemicals are now appearing in new products such as carpet padding, mattresses and furniture made from contaminated recycled materials (Straková, DiGangi and Jensen 2018). A convention’s decision-making process can also limit the breadth of its protections. Parties have been unable to add the hazardous pesticide paraquat to the Rotterdam Convention, for example, despite a clear indication by the Convention’s scientific committee that it falls under the scope of the Convention, because some Parties oppose the listing and consensus is required to list new chemicals. In addition, the obligations for transboundary shipments are unspecified at times. The prior informed consent procedure with strict requirements for transboundary movement of hazardous waste is better defined in comparison with the same procedures for various chemicals. Finally, the adoption and ratification of these conventions are not universal so a number of countries remain outside of their geographical coverage. The gaps in the effective regulation

of trade in harmful chemicals and in the harmonization of regulations, combinedwith the problems of enforcing existing regulations at the national level, demonstrate the significant challenges States face in ensuring that trade in chemicals is managed in an environmentally sound manner. Toxic products for which regulations are limited or non-existent Because the various multilateral environmental agreements are framed narrowly, trade in many harmful substances, such as lead paint, chrysotile asbestos, and highly hazardous pesticides, is unregulated at the international level.

Lead paint

With no international instruments governing trade in lead paint, the responsibility falls to the national level. Nearly one- thirdof countries impose leadpaint controls, andmost of these countries regulate the manufacture, import, export or sale of lead paint. Fifteen per cent of these countries, however, do not regulate lead paint imports and 25 per cent do not regulate

The Illegal Trade in Chemicals


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