Affordable Access

Access to the full text

Status of persistent organic pollutants in Ethiopia

  • Debela, Sisay Abebe1
  • Sheriff, Ishmail2
  • Daba, Chala3
  • Tefera, Yonatal Mesfin4
  • Bedada, Dinaol1
  • Gebrehiwot, Mesfin3
  • 1 Salale University, Fitche , (Ethiopia)
  • 2 Universiti Sains Malaysia, Nibong Tebal , (Malaysia)
  • 3 Wollo University, Dessie , (Ethiopia)
  • 4 University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA , (Australia)
Published Article
Frontiers in Environmental Science
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Jun 29, 2023
DOI: 10.3389/fenvs.2023.1182048
  • Environmental Science
  • Review


Over the years, the chemical market has shown significant growth, but the hazardous impact of chemical use and disposal on the environment and human health is a growing concern. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are among the most dangerous chemicals with widespread effects on the environment and living organisms, including humans. This study aimed to assess the current status of POP management and regulatory infrastructure in Ethiopia by collecting information from stakeholders responsible for recording the import, export, use, management, and regulation of POPs both in government and private sectors. Additionally, a comprehensive literature review was conducted using Boolean operators from international databases and libraries. The results indicated that Ethiopia banned the import of pesticides listed under Annex A (i.e., those to be eliminated), except endosulfan, which was imported at a quantity of 199,767 kg lt-1 from 2011 to 2015. There are 2,435 PCB-containing transformers in Ethiopia, of which 2,242 (92%) are currently in use. These transformers and capacitors contain 1,031,661 kg and 1,255 kg of dielectric fluids, respectively. As for Annex B POPs (i.e., those to be restricted), there are between 928,509 kg and 1,383,095 kg of active and obsolete dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane found in different stores across the country. Ethiopia imported approximately 337,000 kg of products containing perfluorooctane sulfonic acid from 2000 to 2020, with an annual average of 16,850 kg of photographic film, paper, and plates. POPs were also detected in different environmental matrices (soil, waterbodies, sediments, food items, and air) as well as human blood. Despite these findings, regulation and management of POP waste and stockpiles are largely inadequate in Ethiopia. Therefore, it is crucial to improve the monitoring, management, and regulation of POPs in the country. This could be achieved by strengthening the collaboration among different regulatory bodies, harmonizing the fragmented laws on POP management and control, and building institutional capacity.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times