Author(s): Vijgen J, Abhilash PC, Li YF, Lal R, Forter M,
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Abstract PURPOSE: Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) isomers (α-, β- and γ- (Lindane)) were recently included as new persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the Stockholm Convention, and therefore, the legacy of HCH and Lindane production became a contemporary topic of global relevance. This article wants to briefly summarise the outcomes of the Stockholm Convention process and make an estimation of the amount of HCH waste generated and dumped in the former Lindane/HCH-producing countries. RESULTS: In a preliminary assessment, the countries and the respective amount of HCH residues stored and deposited from Lindane production are estimated. Between 4 and 7 million tones of wastes of toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative residues (largely consisting of alpha- (approx. 80\%) and beta-HCH) are estimated to have been produced and discarded around the globe during 60 years of Lindane production. For approximately 1.9 million tones, information is available regarding deposition. Countries are: Austria, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Macedonia, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, The Netherlands, UK, USA, and former USSR. The paper highlights the environmental relevance of deposited HCH wastes and the related POPs' contaminated sites and provides suggestions for further steps to address the challenge of the legacy of HCH/Lindane production. CONCLUSION: It can be expected that most locations where HCH waste was discarded/stockpiled are not secured and that critical environmental impacts are resulting from leaching and volatilization. As parties to the Stockholm Convention are legally required to take action to stop further POPs pollution, identification and evaluation of such sites are necessary.
This article was published in Environ Sci Pollut Res Int
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation