Editors: Gary Klecka, Bob Boethling, James Franklin, Les Grady, Diana Graham, Philip Howard, Kurunthachalam Kannan, Robert Larson, Don Mackay, Derek Muir, Dik van de Meent
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are bioaccumulative, toxic organic compounds of natural or anthropogenic origin that resist photolytic, chemical, & biological degradation. They have low water solubility & high lipid solubility, resulting in bioaccumulation in fatty tissues of living organisms. POPs may be transported in the environment at low concentrations by movement of fresh & marine waters. Because of their semivolatility, POPs can also be transported long distances in the atmosphere, resulting in widespread distribution around the earth, including regions where they were never produced or used. Thus, both humans & ecosystems may be exposed.