The 33rd International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants, Dioxin 2013

The last week of August I attended the POP symposium in the steamy Daegu, Korea.  With over 500 attendees representing 42 countries the technical content was both informative and interesting.  The conference mainly focuses on persistent organic pollutants named in the Stockholm convention.  These include several organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDD), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDF), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), along with some of the newer additions of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and the proposed chemicals, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), short-chained chlorinated paraffins, chlorinated naphthalenes, hexachlorobutadiene and pentachlorophenol.  While those POPs alone can fill a week full of material ranging from analytical, toxicological, fate, transport and levels in the environment, other organic pollutants were added to this year’s program.  Several presentations focused on an emerging issue of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in water and also on the analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).  Speakers from Brazil, Vietnam, Korea, Australia, Canada, Belgium and the USA, just to name a few all discussed the issues of organic pollutants in our environment and the levels that are found in humans and animals.  It really highlights the importance of persistent organic pollutants and that environmental and food safety are truly global issues!

We were serenated by some very talented traditional Korean musicians during the opening reception!

We were serenaded by some very talented traditional Korean musicians during the opening reception!

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