Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

POPs are chemical substances that remain in the environment, bioaccumulate in the food chain, can be transported across huge distances and may pose a risk to the environment and human health. There are more than 30 POPs currently regulated at the global level by the Stockholm Convention and at the EU level by the EU POPs Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2019/1021). These include pesticides (e.g. DDT), industrial chemicals (e.g. per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances) and unintentional by-products of industrial processes (e.g. dioxins and furans). The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) mainly administers the EU POPs Regulation. 

The regulation of POPs has significant implications for companies and includes either a ban or severe limitations to  manufacturing, placing on the market or using POPs, on their own, in mixtures and in articles. Controls on POPs are also extended both to existing stockpiles of these substances and to how their waste is managed. Proposals from countries or regions worldwide to regulate POPs are large and complex documents and consist of scientific, risk assessment and socio-economic aspects. The interests of business can be represented, but this needs to be carried out in a very specific and carefully timed manner. 

How Exponent Can Help

Exponent provides a complete service to assist companies whose substances are coming under scrutiny to ensure regulatory compliance and to represent their interests. Our staff have strong scientific and regulatory expertise from prior experience in industry, contract research and in many cases have worked as a regulator (including with ECHA) prior to joining Exponent, making them ideally placed to understand what is acceptable to the Authorities.

We can provide a full POPs service or provide support to your in-house team. Examples of assistance we can provide are:

  • Full project management and documentation – management of all aspects of the POPs process, efficient communication, regular updates on progress, completion and submission of all documentation to Authorities and representing your interests in the Stockholm Convention Process

  • Regulatory intelligence – monitoring regulatory processes and providing alerts of key developments

  • Communication – with other companies to determine their willingness to collaborate, as well as communication with other interested parties such as NGOs and Authorities

  • Scientific expertise -  scientific review of POPs proposals, highlighting strengths and potential vulnerabilities of the risk assessment and other scientific aspects

  • Socio‚ÄźEconomic Analysis (SEA) –review of the SEA aspects of POPs proposals, including the analysis of alternatives

  • Commenting periods – identification and provision of comments acceptable to Authorities, including making representations for exemptions

  • Follow-up - assistance with follow up queries or requested actions from Authorities.


With offices and experts in the UK, EU, US, and Asia, we offer a comprehensive range of technical and regulatory expertise to help companies meet their REACH obligations.

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