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Honduras carries out first chemical disposal exercise

Honduras, December 21, 2022. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) through the Regional Program for the Secure Management and Disposal of Seized Drugs and Precursor Chemicals (STAND) provided specialized technical advice to Honduran authorities for the neutralization of 1.5 tons of sodium acetate, sodium hydroxide and sodium carbonate, which had been stored for several years in temporary warehouses.

The STAND Program held a series of meetings with the Permanent Interinstitutional Technical Commission on Chemical Precursors and Synthetic Drugs of Honduras, in which they promoted interinstitutional coordination mechanisms at the local level, in order to minimize risks in the transfer of substances to suitable sites for their subsequent disposal.

Likewise, the STAND Program provided technical assistance and support in the application of two methods of final disposal: the first is burial in a sanitary landfill, a process that helps contain leachates, thus avoiding contamination of the subsoil and aquifers. In this way, UNODC promotes environmentally responsible solutions for the safe disposal of these chemicals.

The other method was neutralization, a process that seeks to convert seized acidic and basic substances into inert neutral salts that generate the minimum environmental impact to ecosystems. Using this methodology, UNODC promotes public partnerships for sustainable development.

As a result, by improving the management of the safe, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable storage and disposal of chemicals and precursor chemicals, environmental, safety and health risks to the population are reduced.

In addition, these actions contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: SDG3 to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all people; SDG 12 to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns; SDG 16 to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies; and SDG17, partnerships to achieve the goals.

Final disposal through burial and neutralization is a recommended practice in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Illustrated Guide for the Disposal of Chemicals Used in the Illicit Manufacture of Drugs.

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