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Welcome Message from Chair

The 39th International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants


The International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants (Dioxin Conference), first held in 1980 in Rome, Italy, started as an international conference to address the occurrence and effects of dioxin. It meets annually, allowing researchers in a wide range of specialties, including medicine, pharmacy, chemistry, engineering, agriculture and ecology, to gather and present the latest research findings on dioxins, dioxin-like compounds and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) while exchanging opinions and information, thus contributing to the progress of academic studies. The main topics of academic discussion in the Dioxin Conference include the occurrence and behavior of halogenated POPs in the environment, their exposure to and impacts on humans and other organisms, and methods for breaking down and managing waste containing POPs. In recent years, the Dioxin Conference was held in Madrid, Spain in 2014, São Paulo, Brazil in 2015, Florence, Italy in 2016, and Vancouver, Canada in 2017. In 2018, the conference took place in Kraków, Poland.

Japan hosted the Dioxin Conference in Fukuoka in 1986, Kyoto in 1994, and Tokyo in 2007. Each time, the conference contributed to measures against dioxins and dioxin-like compounds and environmental policies related to PCB degradation and treatment, facilitating technical development and research in diverse related fields. Internationally, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants was adopted in 2001, and serious efforts were then launched to control POPs globally.

While the Stockholm Convention initially covered 12 chemical substances, it now regulates a total of 26 brominated, chlorinated or fluorinated substances, which had been listed under the convention by May 2015 when the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention was held. These global efforts arose from the need to address environmental problems caused by dioxins and dioxin-like compounds, agricultural chemicals and PCBs. Japan has ratified the Stockholm Convention and with a precautionary approach, today, Japan, is required to manage a wider variety of chemical substances throughout their lifecycles. The country has reached the final stage of treating waste containing high-level PCBs, and is thus at a turning point.

To address various issues related to POPs by sharing the latest knowledge and information among internationally-renowned experts, we will organize the Dioxin Conference 2019 (DIOXIN 2019) at the Kyoto International Conference Center in Kyoto City from August 25 (Sunday) to 30 (Friday), 2019, with the expected participation of around 700 people. By hosting the Dioxin Conference in Japan for the fourth time and twelve years after the last one, we hope to share the latest information on research on POPs conducted in Japan and technologies and measures available in Japan for controlling and managing POPs, and so contribute to preserving the environment in Japan and around the world.

Shinichi Sakai
The 39th International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants
Professor, Kyoto University