POPs treaty signed


IQALUIT — A landmark treaty to reduce Arctic pollutants was signed in Stockholm, Sweden this week.

A total of 110 nations, including Canada, signed the treaty May 23.

Called the Stockholm Convention, the agreement requires countries to reduce or eliminate their use of so-called persistent organic pollutants.

POPs — which include PCBs, DDT and dioxins — are produced mainly in industrial areas, but they settle out of the air in the Arctic and collect in the fat of animals. Northerners who eat those animals run a higher risk of cancer, birth defects and developmental disabilities.

Negotiations on the Stockholm Convention took two years and involved more than 120 nations.

The Inuit Circumpolar Conference was one of the key organizations in pushing for the treaty.

To become law, the treaty must be ratified by the national legislatures of 50 nations. Ratification is likely to take place within the year.

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