China has phased out all pesticides containing persistent organic pollutants (POPs) by May 17, as required by the Stockholm Convention, Vice Minister of environmental protection, Zhang Lijun said in Beijing on Monday.
The production, sale, use, import and export of chlordane, mirex and DDT, three kinds of pesticides listed in the Convention, have been banned in China from May 17.
Persistent in the environment, POPs can travel vast distances through air and water, and are highly toxic. Exposure to POPs can lead to serious health effects including cancer and birth defects.
With help from the United Nations Development Program and the World Bank, China has started projects to introduce alternatives to these pesticides, such as comprehensive termite treatments, according to Zhang.
The Stockholm Convention is an international agreement on reducing POPs initiated in 2001. In implementing the Convention, governments will take measures to eliminate or reduce the release of POPs into the environment. A total of 164 countries have joined the Convention.
China was among the first countries to join the Convention in 2001. The country's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress approved it in 2004.