KSA702 Literature Review

KSA702 Literature Review

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KSA702 Literature Review

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KSA702 Literature Review

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Course Code: KSA702
University: University Of Tasmania

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Country: Australia


Literature review:

– What are POPs (persistent organic pollutants)?- When were the POPs used by humans? and why? – The difference of POPs controlling regulations in developed and developing countries (caps of apply the regulations into real application)- What are the challenges in eliminating the (PoPs) chemicals from the environment?

Definition of POPs
Persistent organic pollutants or POPs may be defined as organic compounds which are immune to environmental degradation by means of specific photolytic, biological and chemical processes. Owing to their nature, the POPs tend to bioaccumulate which has an adverse effect on health and the environment. In 2001, at the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the first discussions on the harmful impacts of POPs took place (Xu, Wang & Cai, 2013). Such POPs are now garnering the attention of environment conscience individuals around the world because they pose a severe threat because of their long range transport and persistence in the environment (Tang, 2013).
Use of POPs: When and How
The Stockholm Convention identified and specified the history of POPs. The first instance can be traced back to the 1940s, when it was used as a component of DDT; it was then used to combat insect borne diseases plaguing civil populations and the military (Kabasenche & Skinner, 2014). In DDT, the POPs are in the form of organochlorine pesticides (Mahmood et al., 2016). Industrial pesticides like chlordane and aldrin are used to kill corn rootworms, termites and other pests that affect crops. Industrial chemicals like hexachlorobenzene and polychlorinated biphenyls have been around since 1945 and are used in electric transformers, plastic manufacture and as heat exchange fluid (Odabasi et al., 2015). Additionally, a number of industrial processes including PCDD (polychlorinated dibenzo – p – dioxins) and PCDF or dibenzofurans or dioxins result in POPs. The persistent organic pollutants affect both the immunity and respiratory systems of human beings (Gascon et al., 2013).
Challenges of POPs
Persistent organic pollutants are toxic in nature and resistant to any chemical or biological degradation processes; they may be chlorinated or halogenated and are lipophilic; when consumed by humans in some form or the other, they accumulate in the fatty tissues, thus affecting overall health of the individual (Ljunggren et al., 2014). POPs harm the reproductive, immune and endocrine systems of the body; they also affect the cardiovascular and respiratory systems of the body (Corsini et al., 2014). They might lead to behavioral problems, diabetes, cancer and even thyroid (De Tata, 2014). As a matter of fact, POPs affect pregnant women as well; such exposure has increased the number of still births or babies born with birth defects (Robledo et al., 2015).
Controlling regulations in developing and developed countries
With a growing consciousness about the effects of persistent organic pollutants on human health, several measures have been adopted by developing and developed countries, in compliance with the guidelines mentioned in the Stockholm Convention. For example, Australia signed up to the convention in the year 2004, and since then has taken adequate measures to eliminate the POPs mentioned in the treaty. The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities is responsible for ensuring that the regulations of the Convention are followed and amendments are incorporated into the policies. With adequate measures in place, several of the POPs, like alpha hexachlorocyclohexane, chlordecone, hexabromobiphenyl and beta hexachlorocyclohexane, have been completely eradicated (Department of the Environment and Energy, 2018). Also, regulations have been imposed in order to check the level of pesticides and waste incineration in the country, in order to reduce release of POPs. Similarly, the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Codes Act of 1994 prohibits the usage of lindane, another major source of POPs.
Likewise, in the United Kingdom and other developed countries, National Implementation Plans have been imposed which have been endowed with the responsibility to adhere to the suggestions given at the Stockholm Convention. In such countries, emissions to water, air and land have been studied, along with analysis of industrial waste by international and national experts, to identify the types and levels of POPs in air. Following that, steps have been included in the plans to reduce and manage POPs. Additionally, in countries like UK, inventories have been established to monitor the production of POPs from certain anthropogenic sources; these would include PCBs from waste incineration, sludge, metal smelting and so on (Omoto, 2014). Consequently, progress has been made in these countries as far as the management of persistent organic pollutants is concerned. For instance, it has helped the governments to gain more insight into the potential threat and the level of such emissions which need to be reduced.
In developing countries like India, national implementation plans have also been introduced (Sharma et al., 2014). They call for a ban on the specified chemicals mentioned in the Convention which lead to increased levels of POPs in the environment. According to the plan, unintentional release or production of PCBs, GCB, pentachlorobenzenes and dioxins must be checked and reduced as far as following. Also, regular or periodic assessments and evaluations must be carried out to ensure that POP levels are at an optimum in the environment. Financial resources and technical support required for execution of the plan must also be taken into account.
Challenges in eliminating POPs
There are various challenges associated with persistent organic pollutants, when it comes to eliminating them. POPs are usually a consequence of using solvents, pesticides, industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals. POPs are usually used in different products in order to enhance their characteristics, for example in the case of surfactants or flame retardants. As has been mentioned above, most of the industrial chemicals and pesticides which result in POPs contain benzene. During the process of remediation, linear hydrocarbons quickly disintegrate and break down in the soil. However, compounds comprising benzene rings are comparatively hard to break down. Benzene rings are chemically stable, making it difficult for bacteria and natural chemical processes to decompose or disintegrate them (O’Sullivan & Megson, 2014).
Since POPs have anthropogenic origins, they enter the water, air and land from an array of sources. From there, they get deposited into the water, form sedimentation and invade the food chain. Ocean and air currents are responsible for transporting these POPs over long distances. Then they enter atmospheric processes, water cycles and reach even some of the remote populations, including the Arctic Circle. They evaporate from soil and enter the air, traveling miles to colder regions. This forms a kind of chain reaction, which is called the grasshopper effect (Jacob, 2013).
Corsini, E., Luebke, R. W., Germolec, D. R., & DeWitt, J. C. (2014). Perfluorinated compounds: emerging POPs with potential immunotoxicity. Toxicology letters, 230(2), 263-270.
De Tata, V. (2014). Association of dioxin and other persistent organic pollutants (POPs) with diabetes: epidemiological evidence and new mechanisms of beta cell dysfunction. International journal of molecular sciences, 15(5), 7787-7811.
Department of the Environment and Energy. (2018). Department of the Environment and Energy. [online] Available at: https://www.environment.gov.au/protection/chemicals-management/pops
Gascon, M., Morales, E., Sunyer, J., & Vrijheid, M. (2013). Effects of persistent organic pollutants on the developing respiratory and immune systems: a systematic review. Environment international, 52, 51-65.
Jacob, J. (2013). A Review of the accumulation and distribution of persistent organic pollutants in the environment. International Journal of Bioscience, Biochemistry and Bioinformatics, 3(6), 657.
Kabasenche, W. P., & Skinner, M. K. (2014). DDT, epigenetic harm, and transgenerational environmental justice. Environmental Health, 13(1), 62.
Ljunggren, S. A., Helmfrid, I., Salihovic, S., van Bavel, B., Wingren, G., Lindahl, M., & Karlsson, H. (2014). Persistent organic pollutants distribution in lipoprotein fractions in relation to cardiovascular disease and cancer. Environment international, 65, 93-99.
Mahmood, I., Imadi, S. R., Shazadi, K., Gul, A., & Hakeem, K. R. (2016). Effects of pesticides on environment. In Plant, Soil and Microbes (pp. 253-269). Springer, Cham.
O’Sullivan, G., & Megson, D. (2014). Brief overview: discovery, regulation, properties, and fate of POPs. In Environmental forensics for persistent organic pollutants (pp. 1-20).
Odabasi, M., Ozgunerge Falay, E., Tuna, G., Altiok, H., Kara, M., Dumanoglu, Y., … & Elbir, T. (2015). Biomonitoring the spatial and historical variations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in an industrial region. Environmental science & technology, 49(4), 2105-2114.
Omoto, F. O. (2014). National Implementation Plan for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
Robledo, C. A., Yeung, E., Mendola, P., Sundaram, R., Maisog, J., Sweeney, A. M., … & Louis, G. M. B. (2015). Preconception maternal and paternal exposure to persistent organic pollutants and birth size: the LIFE study. Environmental health perspectives, 123(1), 88.
Sharma, B. M., Bharat, G. K., Tayal, S., Nizzetto, L., & Larssen, T. (2014). The legal framework to manage chemical pollution in India and the lesson from the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). Science of the Total Environment, 490, 733-747.
Tang, H. P. O. (2013). Recent development in analysis of persistent organic pollutants under the Stockholm Convention. TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 45, 48-66.
Xu, W., Wang, X., & Cai, Z. (2013). Analytical chemistry of the persistent organic pollutants identified in the Stockholm Convention: A review. Analytica Chimica Acta, 790, 1-13.

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