Washington, D.C. -- President George W. Bush has asked the U.S. Senate to ratify the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), a treaty that would phase out a dozen highly toxic chemicals such as dioxins and furans. However, Democrats have complained that the legislation lacks a means to eliminate future pollutants.
Production and use of nine of the 12 chemicals would be banned when the treaty takes effect, but most of the chemicals are no longer used in industrialized countries such as the United States. The Stockholm treaty contains a provision that would add pollutants as they are identified, but the Bush administration is being criticized for not including this provision in its legislation.
The release of dioxins and furans, toxic byproducts of waste burning and industrial production, would be reduced and eventually be eliminated where feasible, according to the treaty.