Obsolete pesticide stockpiles and tyre pyrolysis are known sources of unintentionally produced POPs, study

A study presented by the Czech public organization Arnika and Eco-TIRAS of Moldova revealed the presence of significant persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in chicken eggs. The study identified POPs as probably being related to old environmental burdens, such as obsolete pesticide or transformer oil stockpiles. The experts also warn about the other known sources of unintentionally produced POPs, for example, tyre pyrolysis or waste incineration, which may lead to further contamination of the environment.

In a news conference at IPN, Jindřich Petrlík, of the public organization Arnika, said the free-range egg samples and soil samples were collected in three localities – Ciobanovca and Bălți, with waste landfills located nearby, and Dumbrava, located near the industrial part of Vatra, where tyre pyrolysis, asphalt production, and other industrial activities take place. The analyses were performed at a scientific laboratory in France.

“High levels of dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls that exceed the EU standards for food by up to three and a half times were measured in the eggs from Dumbrava. It is an indicator that tyre pyrolysis or other industrial sources in the nearby Vatra industrial zone can be significant sources of toxic chemicals,” said Jindřich Petrlík, one of the study’s authors. “There is a need for the better environmental assessment of newly-built potential sources of unintentionally produced POPs, such as waste incinerators and other combustion industrial processes,” he added.

Ilya Trombitsky, executive director of the Eco-TIRAS International Association of River Keepers of Moldova, said the topic of unintentionally produced POPs relates closely to the issue of waste management in Moldova. Currently, the business lobby is calling for the ban on tyre burning to be lifted. An amendment to the law allowing this practice has been postponed thanks to the protests of civil organizations which demand that the technological processes of incineration should be under the control of the state in order to prevent emissions of toxic substances such as dioxins and furans formed during incineration.

The control is required in the law on atmospheric air of 1997, but in practice, it remained unrealised, because the state did not ensure real control over the quality of emissions, leaving it entirely in the hands of businesses. On the basis of the experience of Romanian environmentalists, we are afraid that the lack of state control will provoke corruption and an unpermitted level of emissions,” noted Ilya Trombitsky, a co-author of the study. He added that exposure to POPs can lead to serious health effects, including certain cancers, birth defects, dysfunctional immune and reproductive systems, greater susceptibility to disease, and damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Note: IPN News Agency gives the right of reply to persons who consider they were touched by the news items produced based on statements of the organizers of the given news conference, including by facilitating the organization of another news conference in similar conditions.

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