Welcome to the IPEN — A Toxics-Free Future
UN meeting on chemicals moves forward on flame retardant ban, but stalls on asbestos and paraquat
IPEN highlights outcomes from the combined meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions and decisions on chemicals and wastes from more than 120 countries.
IPEN joint press release on provisional decision to ban production and use of the flame retardant HBCD
IPEN, Pesticide Action Network and the Global Indigenous Peoples Caucus released a joint press release at the culmination of the Stockholm Convention's COP6 congratulating governments for their provisional decision to globally ban production and use of the commonly-used flame retardant, HBCD.
"We applaud countries for their decision to ban this chemical and not to allow the recycling of products containing it," said Dr. Mariann Lloyd-Smith, IPEN senior adviser. "This will prevent materials containing HBCD from being recycled into new products and protect people from contamination that would otherwise cause serious damage to their health."
Action on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs)
EDCs are present in consumer products and pesticides and play a role in increased incidence of reproductive diseases, cancer, obesity, and type-2 diabetes worldwide. In 2012, more than 100 governments reached consensus agreement that action is needed on EDCs through the SAICM process. IPEN and The Endocrine Society call for swift action by UN agencies and recommend key principles to form the basis of the work going forward.
Press Release: English
For more information on endocrine disrupting chemicals, see:
- The Endocrine Society's scientific statement
- UNEP-WHO State of the Science Report on endocrine disrupting chemicals
For more information about SAICM, the global body that recognized the need for action on endocrine disrupting chemicals, see IPEN's SAICM Guide.
A Public Interest Guide to Toxic Flame Retardant Chemicals
IPEN has updated its guide to toxic flame retardant chemicals booklet to reflect new developments since it was first released in June 2012. The guide is an introduction to the science and industry manipulation of toxic chemicals marketed as flame retardants. These toxic chemicals do not provide fire safety but are widely present in consumer products that release them into dust, as well as in the millions of tons of electronic waste that is dumped in developing countries each year, polluting people and the environment.
Guide to the New Mercury Treaty
The final meeting on the new mercury treaty was held in Geneva in January 2013 and reached agreement on the text of the new treaty. The treaty will be adopted in October 2013 at a diplomatic conference in Japan. IPEN believes that, at minimum, a global treaty on mercury should incorporate provisions that, if taken together and fully implemented, will actually reduce total anthropogenic mercury emissions and releases to the global environment. Read our Guide to see our assessment about whether the new treaty accomplishes this.
To learn about us, read our new
IPEN Brochure: Working Together for a Toxics-Free Future
New to the Issues?
View a 6 minute movie about IPEN and the threat of POPs.
Learn from examples of NGO POPs Projects on the Ground.
Read about the impacts of the chemicals called persistent organic polluants or POPs.
Read about the Stockholm Convention and how it protects us all from POPs.
Read how IPEN groups all over the world are working for a toxics free future.
NGO Educational Guides to Key International Policies: Download educational booklets on POPs, Highly Hazardous Pesticides and SAICM.
These booklets are available in several languages, and provide a swift orientation of key international chemical policies and how NGOs can utilize agreements by the international community to protect their local communities from toxic threats.
IPEN Updates & Action
February newsletter for the Lead Paint Elimination Project
IPEN's Asian Lead Paint Elimination Project was established in seven countries to eliminate lead in paint and raise widespread awareness among businesses and consumers about the adverse human health impacts of lead-based decorative paints, particularly on the health of children. The project newsletter describes project activities and achievements to date.
IPEN and BRI Report on Global Mercury Hotspots
New Evidence Reveals Mercury Contamination Regularly Exceeds Health Advisory Levels in Humans and Fish Worldwide.
IPEN at the Mercury INC5: A Global Mercury Treaty, not a Minamata Convention
IPEN suggests that the pending global mercury treaty not be named the Minamata Convention. This is because it appears to us that the new treaty will not likely be sufficient to:
- Prevent future Minamata tragedies from happening in the world
- Ensure that victims of future mercury tragedies will not suffer the same fate as the Minamata victims
- Reverse the current and alarming trend of rising levels of global methyl mercury pollution.
IPEN Press Release: WHO-UNEP Report on endocrine disruptors highlights need for global action
A highly anticipated report released today by the World Health Organization & UN Environment Programme underlines the urgent need for global action to address the dangers of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The report, the "Global Assessment of the State of the Science on Endocrine Disruptors," finds that "[w]orldwide, there has been a failure to adequately address the underlying environmental causes of trends in endocrine diseases and disorders." IPEN is concerned by the slow pace of progress on the development of a SAICM work plan on EDCs as an emerging policy issue, and believes a work plan needs to be given the priority it deserves in an open, participatory and transparent manner.
In December 2012, IPEN, with international partners, conducted a study of children's products in six countries of Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia. The study measured toxic metals — lead, mercury, arsenic, antimony, cadmium, and chromium — in 569 randomly-purchased products using a hand-held X-ray fluorescence analyzer (XRF). Approximately 27% of the products contained at least one of these toxic metals and 13% contained more than two, increasing the potential for harm.
Click here to Read More
* POPs Persistent Organic Pollutants. This is a group of chemicals that are very toxic to people and the environment.