04 November 2008

Toxic marine paint on UN Trade Watch List

A paint used on ships to prevent growth of marine organisms is now under stronger trade control. Exporters must now get permission from importing countries to trade in Tributyltin (TBT), which is highly polluting and deadly to marine life.
Pesticide TBT Added To UN Trade Watch List
PlanetArk 4 Nov 08;
ROME - A pesticide in paints used on the outside of ships has been added to a "watch list" to protect countries from importing toxic products, the United Nations said on Monday.

Tributyltin (TBT) becomes the 40th chemical to be put on the "prior informed consent" (PIC) list. Exporters wishing to ship items on this list must get permission from importing countries.

Products already on the list include mercury compounds and the insecticides DDT and lindane. TBT is used in "antifouling paints" to keep molluscs off ship hulls. But it is also highly polluting and deadly to other marine life.

At a meeting in Rome last week of the Rotterdam Convention, which governs the PIC list, delegates failed to agree on adding two other chemicals: endosulfan, a pesticide used in cotton production, and chrysotile, or white, asbestos, a cancer-causing mineral used in building materials.

Chemicals can only be added to the PIC list if signatories to the 1998 convention reach consensus. Environmental campaigners say business interests can often successfully lobby against products being added even if scientific evidence shows they are dangerous to human health and the environment.

(Reporting by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Catherine Bosley)

More about TBT and Singapore snails and marinelife.

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