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Contamination and Remediation

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Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are carbon-based organic compounds and mixtures with toxicity and environmental persistence that include industrial products and by-products. POPs can be transported far from their sites of release by environmental media to previously pristine locations such as the Arctic. Low POP levels might be increased by biomagnification through the transmission process in the food chain. They can be easily accumulated in the organism to levels that can potentially injure human health as well as the environment (Hansen, 1998 and Birnbaum, 1994). There are 12 substances or substance groups prioritized for global action, these 12 substances, the dirty dozen, consist of eight kinds of pesticides, including dieldrin, Aldrin, Endrin, chlordane, heptachlor, DDT, toxaphene, mirex, two kinds of industrial chemicals [polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB)], and two kinds of byproducts (polychlorinated dibenzofurans and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins)There are four characteristic parameters (persistence, bioaccumulation, toxicity, and long-range environmental transport), which can distinguish POPs from a multitude of other organic chemicals. All 12 prioritized POPs or their breakdown products rank high to the extreme on measurements of these parameters. Reproductive, developmental, behavioral, neurological, endocrine, and immune adverse health effects on people have been linked to POPs. POP pollution has touched every region in the world. Much attention is given to POP contamination problems, and strong action has been taken by most developed and developing nations.Based on the statistics of 2002, North America was the predominant pesticides (especially HCH, DDT, and other organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) application region, followed by western Europe and the Far East (Loqanathan and Kannan, 2004). The consumption of pesticides in developed countries (e.g., Euro-American) was significantly more than that in other countries.