Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are organic compounds that are resistant to degradation through chemical, biological, and photolytic processes. They are toxic chemicals that adversely affect human health and the environment around the world. Because they can be transported by wind and water, most POPs generated in one country can and do affect people and wildlife far from where they are used and released.
The effect of POPs on human and environmental health was discussed, with intention to eliminate or severely restrict their production, by the international community at the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 2001.
Most POPs are pesticides or insecticides, and some are also solvents, pharmaceuticals, and industrial chemicals. Although some POPs arise naturally (e.g. from volcanoes), most are man-made. The "dirty dozen" POPs identified by the Stockholm Convention include aldrin, chlordane, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, HCB, mirex, toxaphene, PCBs, DDT, dioxins, and polychlorinated dibenzofurans. However, there have since been many new POPs added, for example PFASs.

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