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Persistent organic pollutants: potential health effects?
  1. T Damstra1,
  2. S W Page2,
  3. J L Herrman2,
  4. T Meredith2
  1. 1International Programme on Chemical Safety, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA
  2. 2International Programme on Chemical Safety, Geneva, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to:
 Tim Meredith, International Programme on Chemical Safety, World Health Organisation, 20 Avenue Appia, CH-1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland;


It is not a point of debate that the Stockholm Convention for the prevention of further accumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) should be ratified and implemented by all countries. However, in their article, Schafer and Kegley present an unbalanced “worst case scenario”. Approximately 20% of the food supply of the US is contaminated with POPs at extremely low levels; these levels are comparable to those found in many other countries. Furthermore, there is no scientific consensus that these levels are hazardous to most humans. More information is needed to determine the actual risks of extremely low levels of POPs to human health.

  • persistent organic pollutants
  • endocrine disrupting chemicals
  • food standards
  • risk assessment
  • Stockholm Convention
  • POPs, persistent organic pollutants
  • EDCs, endocrine disrupting chemicals

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