Dirty Dozen

Dirty Dozen

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are organic chemical substances, that is, they are carbon-based. They possess a particular combination of physical and chemical properties such that, once released into the environment, they:

  • remain intact for exceptionally long periods of time (many years);
  • become widely distributed throughout the environment as a result of natural processes involving soil, water and, most notably, air;
  • accumulate in the fatty tissue of living organisms including humans, and are found at higher concentrations at higher levels in the food chain; and
  • are toxic to both humans and wildlife.


Dirty Dozen​

There are 12 POPs that are most known today. They are often referred to "The Dirty Dozen."

  1. Aldrin - An organochlorine insecticide
  2. Chlordane - A manufactured pesticide
  3. DDT - A synthetic pesticide
  4. Dieldrin - An insecticide
  5. Endrin - An insecticide
  6. Heptachlor - An insecticide
  7. Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) - A fungicide
  8. Mirex - An insecticide
  9. PCBs - Coolants/insulating fluids
  10. PCDDs (Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins) - Dioxin
  11. Polychlorinated dibenzofurans - Dioxin
  12. Toxaphene - An insecticide