In response to dicofol and other substances newly listed by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the EPA preannounced dicofol to be listed as a toxic chemical substance. Current regulations for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride (POSF), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), lithium perfluorooctane sulfonate, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were also revised as a means to tighten Taiwan’s controls for toxic chemical substances.
The EPA explained that persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are resistant to degradation, capable of long-range transport and bioaccumulation, and are harmful to human health and other living organisms. Therefore, the UN formulated the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants to protect human health and the environment by eliminating, limiting and reducing the release of POPs. In response to recent updates to the Stockholm Convention, the EPA has revised regulations concerning dicofol, PFOA, POSF, PFOS, lithium perfluorooctane sulfonate, and PBDEs.
The EPA pointed out that dicofol was added to Annex A (elimination) of the Stockholm Convention in 2019. Capable of bioconcentration and being ecotoxic, dicofol meets the characteristics of Class 1 and Class 3 toxic chemical substances listed in the Toxic and Concerned Chemical Substances Control Act. Therefore, dicofol has been added to Class 1 and Class 3 toxic chemical substance lists, and its use outside of research, experimental and educational purposes has been banned in accordance with the convention. In addition, the EPA referenced the convention on the regulations concerning PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related substances and announced that PFOA and POSF would be categorized as Class 1 toxic chemical substances. The EPA also revised the control concentration standards of lithium perfluorooctane sulfonate and POSF, and amended the use restrictions for PFOA, PFOS, lithium perfluorooctane sulfonate and POSF.
An investigation conducted by the EPA regarding the domestic industrial uses of the above-mentioned substances revealed that these substances are primarily used for research, experimental and educational purposes in Taiwan. Due to their limited use in Taiwan, the tightened control on these substances will only have a marginal effect on domestic industries, improve their existing air pollution control facilities and gradually bring in enclosed equipment to control air pollution at its source.
Excerpt from Environmental Policy Monthly, 23 (6)
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)