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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

Highlights Front Roll

Kirabati Included in Regional Mercury Study
Camel Milk Found to Contain High Concentrations of Dangerous Chemicals
2016 International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action
IPEN 2016 Global Meeting & Toxics-Free Future Forum
A Call for Justice and Human Rights
TENDR: Targeting Environmental Neurodevelopmental Risks

IPEN Co-Chair Olga Speranskaya introducing a group of colleagues who will speak on the relationship between human rights and toxic chemicals.

More than 120 environmental, health, and human rights leaders from 55 countries gathered in San Francisco for the 2016 IPEN Global Meeting and Toxics-Free Future Forum to make the collaborative movement for a toxics-free future broader and stronger. The two-part meeting and forum addressed IPEN's 2020 strategy, global policy updates, skill sharing, capacity-building, networking, and movement building to reduce toxic chemicals.

Global meeting topics centered around IPEN’s 5-year 2020 Plan, and ranged from global chemical policy to specific on-the-ground efforts to eliminate mercury, lead paint and highly hazardous pesticides, to skill-building strategies for more effective communications and resource mobilization. Scientific experts from the Endocrine Society and partners from the Project TENDR (Targeting Environmental Neurodevelopmental Risks) also presented their findings on the impact of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and neurotoxicants on human health.

"IPEN was fortunate to develop a cooperation with the Goldman Environmental Foundation, and convene the IPEN Global Meeting in San Francisco, as several IPEN participating organizations are recipients of the Goldman Environmental Prize," note Olga Speranskaya, IPEN co-chair and 2009 Goldman Prize recipient. "As a result, we were able to introduce our partners to new opportunities to advance their work in their communities and globally. This support and solidarity with those who struggle for clean environment, safer and better life for all is crucial to sustain our work."

IPEN Co-Chairs Pamela Miller and Olga Speranskaya sign a statement in support of workers and former workers of Samsung at the IPEN 2016 Global Meeting & Toxics-Free Future Forum

November 18, 2016: An Open International Declaration To the Board of the Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.--   A Call for Justice and Human Rights for the Workers, Former Workers and Their Families

Issued from the Global Meeting of IPEN—San Francisco, California USA

English / Español

IPEN is a global network of more than 500 public interest non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in 116 countries to establish and implement safe chemicals policies and practices that protect human health and the environment. This week, 120 of IPEN’s environmental, health and human rights leaders from 55 countries are meeting in San Francisco, California in the U.S. for a Global Meeting and Toxics-Free Future Forum (14-18 November 2016). During this meeting, we have had the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of the ruthless treatment and negligence perpetrated by Samsung against its workers. We are outraged by Samsung’s illegal tactics that include brutal and unsafe working conditions, toxic exposures, physical and mental harassment, use of child labor, wiretapping, bribery, and thwarting of unionization. These unconscionable actions violate the fundamental human rights, health, and dignity of the workers and their families.

While the world is celebrating the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, the European Commission (EC) is being challenged on its recent decision to authorize Dominion Colour Corporation to supply red and yellow lead chromate pigments for use in the EU in so-called industrial paint.

Lead chromates are composed of lead, a neurotoxin which harms the nervous system, and chromium, a carcinogen causing lung tumours. Children are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure and the health effects are generally irreversible and have a lifelong impact. Lead chromates are also extremely toxic to aquatic life. The use of these toxic paint components has been abandoned for decades in many EU countries and many paint companies have publicly stated that safer alternatives do exist and that they have been using them for years.  

(Gothenburg, Sweden) Many decorative paints sold in over 40  low- and middle income countries contained dangerous levels of lead, sometimes in direct violation of national regulation, according to a new report released by IPEN today. The report, Global Lead Paint Report, brings together data from paint studies conducted since 2009 in 46  low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

한국어 IPEN has joined with trade unions and public interest organizations to endorse a letter from Supporters of Health and Rights of People in the Semiconductor Industry (SHARPS) to Mr. Jae-yong Lee, the heir apparent of Samsung Electronics. The letter urges Mr. Lee to initiate a new dialogue with SHARPS about his company’s occupational disease victims. As of September 2016, SHARPS has profiled 223 Samsung Electronics employees who developed a variety of serious diseases including leukemia, brain tumors, and multiple sclerosis. Of the 223 victims, 76 have died.
 
A recent AP investigation outlined how Samsung has requested government authorities to withhold critical information from sick workers about chemical exposures. The Samsung issue is occurring during a global effort to address hazardous substances within electronics as a global emerging policy issue under the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management.
 

Press Release, Quezon City.  Civil society groups exhorted Asian governments to ratify the Minamata Convention on Mercury as environmental and health officials from several countries converge in Pasay City for a three-day regional forum.

In a joint statement, the EcoWaste Coalition, the Collaboration Center for Minamata Disease Victims and IPEN (a global NGO network for a toxics-free future) called upon the participants of the “Regional Forum on Environment and Health in A Southeast and East Asian Countries” to endorse the rapid ratification of the mercury treaty and promote the early implementation of activities, with full participation of public interest groups, to prevent and reduce mercury pollution.

Español

Rome, Italy — A UN expert committee has determined that PFOA, commonly known as the “Teflon chemical,” warrants global action under the Stockholm Convention, an international treaty that bans the world’s most hazardous chemical pollutants.
 
In a consensus decision, the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) agreed that PFOA “is presumed to be an immune hazard to humans” and linked to, “high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, testicular cancer, kidney cancer and pregnancy-induced hypertension.” Experts concluded that PFOA does not degrade in the environment, is transported over long distances, and biomagnifies in animals, threatening the food chain. As a result, the expert group, noting a recent study concluded that, “a ‘safe’ concentration in the environment cannot be established.”

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