Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science Technology and Innovation on Tuesday called on the authorities to intensified education on hazardous chemicals.
He said there was the need to assess and ban the use of hazardous chemicals in the country since such chemicals poses serious health threat to both animal and human beings.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng made the call in Accra at a workshop on the review of National Implementation Plan of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), highly toxic substances released into the environment through human activity.
The workshop was organised by the Chemical Controls and Management Centre of the Environmental Protection Agency, on the theme: “A Future Detoxified: Sound Management of POPs in Ghana”.
The Minister said the country had over the years been championing the implementation of several chemicals-related Multilateral Environmental Agreements to protect human health and the environment from the adverse impacts of toxic chemical substances.
He said over the past decades, more chemicals have been released to the environment causing lots of diseases including cancer, which was currently on the rise.
He said pesticides like DDT, and industrial chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyls used as dielectric fluids in transformer and capacitors and by-products of industrial combustion including dioxins and furans were examples of the POPs.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng called for a multi-stakeholder discussion to tackle environmental challenges and the use of dangerous chemicals.
He said the programme would provide participants and stakeholders on the continent with background information on levels of POPs in the environment, useful for decision-making.
The Stockholm Convention on POPs was adopted in May 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden, where 92 States including Ghana, and the European Community signed the Convention to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutant.
The Stockholm Convention began with 12 initial compounds called the “dirty dozen”, and since May 2009, more than nine chemicals have been added to the Convention.
Article 7 of the Stockholm Convention requires that all Parties prepare their National Implementation Plans, which is the formal planning document that defines a country’s commitments, current situation and actions, as well as its plans to undertake in the field of POPs management.
Parties are expected to review and update, as appropriately, their implementation plans on periodic basis as specified by a decision of the Conference of the Parties.