Second Ministerial Conference

Countries meeting at the Second Ministerial Conference on the Protection of the North Sea held in London in November 1987 agreed to reduce the inputs of potentially dangerous substances to the North Sea by approximately 50% and also to restrict the inputs of nutrients to vulnerable zones by about 50%. The Conference also agreed to eliminate the incineration of dangerous waste and disposal of sewage sludge at sea.

The UK Red List initiative

In response to the Conference, the UK agreed in a Ministerial Declaration to apply a dual approach to the control of certain particularly dangerous substances - The Red List. The dual approach consists of applying EQSs or limit values, whichever are the more stringent, to the control of the Red List substances (see table linked below).

Table - Control of Red List Substances

Proposals for environmental quality standards (EQSs) have been prepared for the DETR (then the DoE) for those substances for which EQS values had not yet been adopted.

The UK Red List Substances



List I status(1)





* Gamma hexachlorocyclohexane (lindane)




* Pentachlorophenol (PCP)


  Hexachlorobenzene (HCB)


  Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD)


* Aldrin


* Dieldrin


* Endrin


* PCB (Polychlorinated biphenyls)


* Tributyltin compounds


* Triphenyltin compounds


* Dichlorvos


* Trifluralin


  1,2 Dichloroethane




* Azinphos-methyl


* Fenitrothion


* Malathion


* Endosulfan


* Atrazine


* Simazine



Chloroform has List I status but is not included in the UK Red List

Substances which enter the environment predominantly from diffuse sources

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