U.S. Water News Online
WASHINGTON -- Noting that organochlorines have been linked
to die-offs of
coral reefs and have even been detected in the breast milk of the Inuit
people, representatives from 14 nations have petitioned United Nations
Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali for a global phaseout of
organochlorines such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), heptachlor, and
chlordane. Many of these materials are banned or severely restricted in the
U.S., but usage remains high within the Third World.
The petition, which was signed by representatives from 17 U.S.
some 53 others around the world, emanated from the Department of the Planet
Earth, an environmental activist organization headquartered in Washington.
The announcement of the petition noted that one of the organization's board
members, Dr. Joseph Cummins of the University of Western Ontario, warned in
1988 that electrical equipment containing PCBs was beginning to wear out in
developing nations. These nations hold 15 percent of worldwide stocks of
PCBs, it is noted.
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