A3.3.5 Persistence of Pollutants



  • “persisting or having a tendency to persist.”
  • “continuing or recurring; prolonged.”

 Source: Oxford English Dictionary


Persistence in relation to a pollutant considers the dispersal properties of the pollutant, as well as the ability to accumulate.

For example, Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are organic compounds that are resistant to environmental degradation through chemical, biological, and photolytic (the decomposition or separation of molecules by the action of light) processes. As they do not degrade, they are capable of long-range transport and are able to bioaccumulate in human and animal tissue. This means that they have potential significant impacts on the environment and human health.