What are these chemicals?
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are chemicals that persist in the environment and are known to cause adverse effects to health. They are bio-accumulative, building up in the tissue of living things, and can be passed between species through the food chain or from mother to baby.
From the 1940’s to the 1970’s many commercial pesticides (including insecticides) containing POPs were in widespread use on rural properties in New Zealand and worldwide. DDT is the most well-known but there are a number of others… (see below). As the harmful effects of these compounds became known, they were phased out of normal use.
Among other effects, POPs have been identified as hormone disruptors which can alter normal function of endocrine and
reproductive systems in humans and wildlife.
Cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes have been linked to POPs. Exposure to POPs during pregnancy has been linked to developmental defects in the resulting offspring.