The Associated Press February 21, 2011, 7:43AM ET

UN sees rising risks from climate, toxic chemicals

A U.N.-commissioned report says climate change is becoming a major obstacle for a 2004 global treaty aimed at cutting people's exposure to 21 highly dangerous chemicals.

The report obtained by The Associated Press says the risks of exposure could increase if more stockpiles and landfills leak due to flooding or other extreme weather linked to rising temperatures.

Donald Cooper, the U.N. treaty's executive secretary, says "significant climate-induced changes are foreseen in relation to future releases" of PCBs, dioxins and other persistent and toxic chemicals back into the environment -- and into people's bodies.

The report also says some of those most vulnerable people live in Arctic regions and places affected by malaria.

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