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Home » Glossary » Persistent Organic Pollutant

Persistent Organic Pollutant

  1. A complex organic chemical which resists decomposition in the environment and can migrate over great distances, which bioaccumulates and biomagnifies, and which is suspected of being toxic to humans or other organisms exposed to even low concentrations if such exposure occurs over a long period of time. Examples include certain pesticides (aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, mirex, and toxaphene), industrial chemicals (PCBs and hexachlorobenzene, which is also a pesticide), and unwanted by-products of combustion and industrial processes (dioxins and furans). [Source: Organisation for Economic and Co-Operation Develoipment, Sustainable Development's Glossary: http://www.oecd.org]