On December 27th, 2023, the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) received an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device from the Ministry of Planning and Development. This device was procured through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) under the GEF 5558 project “‘Development and Implementation of a Sustainable Management Mechanism for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the Caribbean” which was executed by the BCRC-Caribbean. The Minister of Planning and Development, the Honourable Pennelope Beckles formally handed over the device to Jose Trejo, Executive Director of the TTBS.
While the TTBS will be the responsible entity for the use of the XRF device, we look forward to collaborations among relevant agencies, as it will strengthen the capacity of Customs and Border Control Agencies to detect and monitor for hazardous chemicals such as POPs and mercury that may be present in imported products. The device provides the opportunity for rapid and non-destructive screening of imported goods, and therefore it can also enhance the effective assessment of end-of-life products that may contain POPs of concern for Trinidad and Tobago such as waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and end of life vehicles (ELVs).
Trinidad and Tobago identified the POPs of concern such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in the review and update of the National Implementation Plan (NIP) for the Stockholm Convention on POPs in 2018. These PBDEs are a class of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) that can be found many household items. According to the guidance for best available techniques (BAT) and best environmental practices (BEP), the use of an XRF device is recognised as a tool for enhancing the capacity to detect, monitor and manage POPs in our environment. The XRF equipment can be used to separate potentially contaminated plastics by detecting bromine and measuring its concentration.
By determining the presence of POPs and other hazardous chemicals in contaminated products, the items can be safely removed and disposed of, thereby contributing to reduction of health risks such as cancer, reproductive disorders, birth defects and compromised immune systems.
Trinidad and Tobago is one (1) of eight (8) Caribbean countries benefitting from the receipt of XRF devices in 2023 under the GEF 5558 project. Training on the use and capabilities of the XRF device has also been provided to the relevant responsible entities in each country through the UNIDO and the equipment supplier. The BCRC-Caribbean continues to support the efforts of our Caribbean Parties as we work to #StopthePOPs.
Read the feature article in the Trinidad Express here:
View the news clip for the XRF handover ceremony here: