Last reviewed 4 October 2021

The Environment Agency has updated its list of substances classified as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and updated its guidance document on the rules around using POPs in light of the UK’s changed relationship with the EU.

POPs can remain in the environment and food chain for long periods of time and have the potential for long range distribution, resulting in the exposure of organisms at great distances from the original source of the release. In the past, POPs were used in various products including pesticides and industrial chemicals, and released during chemical and agricultural processes. However, the manufacture, sale and use of products containing POPs is now banned.

The list of POPs is available at www.gov.uk/guidance/using-persistent-organic-pollutants-pops. The same site also describes the specific exemptions to the ban on POPs and how to store and dispose of POPs.