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Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are endocrine disrupting pesticides (and other pollutants) that are carried in air and in water over many hundreds of kilometres. POPs cross national and geographic boundaries to pose a significant threat to people who are far removed from their original use. This global redistillation of the POPs is so significant that the United Nations Environment Program has initiated a global agreement to control these persistent EDCs.

Some of the pesticides that are POPs include: Aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, HCB, mirex, and toxaphene. Some of these pesticides are banned in some countries, eg DDT is banned in many Western countries, but government regulation does not prohibit the manufacture of this toxic poison in those countries for export to other countries, particularly developing countries. There are moral and ethical issues inherent in this practice. DDT is widely used as a mosquito pesticide in an attempt to control malaria. Alternatives need to be found.