A list of all IPEN News and Updates by date are on this Archive Page for your reference.
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 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:
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.
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The American Public Health Association (APHA) today called on the global electronics' industry, public health officials and international agencies to step up efforts to protect workers and communities, citing well documented adverse health effects caused by many toxic chemicals used in the manufacture of electronic and electrical products worldwide. The resolution endorsed three key strategies: right to know; prevention through design; and health surveillance. The resolution helps support efforts by public interest NGOs globally on reducing and eliminating hazardous chemicals in the lifecycle of electronics. Read the IPEN press release here:
"It appears that the committee once again delayed action because SCCPs are widely used — instead of focusing on their potential harms as obligated by the Stockholm Convention," said Mariann Lloyd-Smith, IPEN. "That raises concerns about scientific integrity and whether commercial considerations are a higher priority than the Stockholm Convention's goal of protecting human health and the environment."
IPEN is in Kenya for the SAICM's (Strategic Approach International Chemicals Management's) 3rd international conference (ICCM3), which is taking place from 17 - 21 September in Nairobi. In the run-up to the ICCM3, IPEN has released the following publications:
To learn more about IPEN's activities throughout the ICCM3, please visit our ICCM3 page.
"In connection with the International Conference on Chemicals, Russian scientist Dr. Olga Speranskaya, UNEP Champions of the Earth laureate 2011, talks about the importance of finance to make chemicals management a reality for all." – UNEP Web site
While overall the text of the Future We Want is weak and does not reflect the urgency of the global crisis affecting us all, for the chemical and waste section, many of the issues raised by IPEN were at least addressed. The meeting, although hailed as one with the full participation of civil society, did not in reality reflect this. Many working groups were quickly closed to NGOs as small meeting rooms became overcrowded, and only delegates were allowed to speak in the working groups.
Read the full IPEN Report on Rio+20 Chemical and Waste commitments and get more information on our Toxics Free 2012 Information page.
3 July, 2012 (Punta del Este, Uruguay) — Although two-thirds of delegates engaged in international negotiations for a proposed mercury treaty support language that would help protect human health and the environment, a small group of developed countries appears to oppose public actions to prevent and reduce exposure to mercury.
"We are deeply concerned that, with current text, the treaty may actually legitimize increased global mercury releases to protect short-term economic interests. The price tag may appear to be 'cheap,' but the cost of inaction on mercury pollution will be huge," said Joe DiGangi, IPEN Scientific and Technical Advisor.
For more information, visit IPEN's INC4 page.
In the run-up to the Rio + 20 global meeting, IPEN and partners have created a Global Common Statement for a Toxics-Free Future to create greater awareness about the increasing amounts of toxic chemicals in the environment, our food, communities and children. The endorsers of this statement have not forgotten the commitments made at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio. Twenty years later, Rio+20 offers little or nothing to ensure the commitments are carried out and basic rights are secured for all people.
This Statement has been presented for consideration and adoption to NGOs and CSOs in all regions of the world as part of a global campaign to secure more than 1,000 NGO endorsements in at least 80 countries.
Additional resources and information about the Statement, including how your organization can endorse it, can be found at: www.ipen.org/toxics-free-2012
IPEN Participating Organization ReLANS has produced a new booklet about the social and environmental implications of nanotechnology in Latin America, available in both Spanish and English. By Guillermo Foladori and Noela Invernizzi with the collaboration of Fernando Bejarano in the SAICM sections.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development, and ten years since the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development. A "Rio + 20" conference will take place in Brazil in June. IPEN will participate in Rio + 20; specifically to elevate our toxics-free future mission into the process, ensure that toxic chemical issues are part of the agenda, and by expanding the discussions from a Green Economy to include Green Societies and Green Environments.
• See IPEN's draft submission to the Rio+20 Zero Document English | Russian (PDF)
• See IPEN Text Recommendations for the 'Chemicals and Waste' Section (Rio+20 Prepcom1) (PDF)
• See IPEN's views on appropriate language for the 'Chemicals and Waste' & 'Science and Technology' Sections (Rio+20 Prepcom2) (PDF)
More information about IPEN's engagement in the Rio+20 process will be posted shortly.
On the 7th of December 2011, in Beijing and Hong Kong, IPEN and Greenpeace jointly launched a study of heavy metals in children's products on the Chinese market.
The study looked at 500 children's products — including toys, school supplies and other products — from five Chinese cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Hong Kong.) We tested for six toxics heavy metals using an XRF device. For details, please visit the Greenpeace East Asia website and the IPEN-China page. The IPEN page contains full testing results in English. Results are also available in Chinese in a searchable database on the Greenpeace website.
Numerous representatives from IPEN Participating Organizations recently attended the 1st Open-Ended Working Group for SAICM (Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management) in Belgrade. Click below for some thoughts and observations about the meeting in the document: "IPEN Quick Views of SAICM OEWG," and here for additional information.
Levels of toxins, such as heavy metals, in consumer products are a grave concern. Products containing concerning levels of lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, chromium, and antimony, among others, are widely sold around the globe. IPEN has undertaken a study to test levels of these toxins in products sold internationally. We have started this study in Manila, Philippines. Over the coming weeks and months, we will test in other cities and countries.
IPEN announces the launch of its new webpage dedicated to Honoring Minamata, where you'll find a Press Release addressing an upcoming meeting in Japan about the naming of the global mercury treaty. Click here to read IPEN's "Honoring Minamata Solidarity Statement" and learn more about how you can sign-on to the Statement to show your support.
An updated version of IPEN's Mercury-Free Campaign website can now be found at: http://ipen.org/hgfree/. This site contains information about IPEN's Mercury-Free Campaign, details about work to reduce and eliminate the harms caused by mercury, helpful educational publications in many languages and more. We will continue to add to the information resources link as more materials become available.
If your NGO is interested in joining IPEN's Mercury-Free Campaign, contact the IPEN Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org
IPEN congratulates Manny Calonzo, from GAIA Philippines, who will join Dr. Olga Speranskaya as one of the Co-Chairs of IPEN. Additionally, IPEN acknowledges the exceptional efforts and achievements by the outgoing IPEN Co-Chair, Dr. Mariann Lloyd-Smith.
The Stockholm Convention Secretariat and the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme developed a report on "Climate Change and POPs: Predicting the Impacts." IPEN Co-Chair Mariann Lloyd-Smith co-authored the policy recommendations chapter in the report.
IPEN has conducted a study of new carpet padding to identify if toxic substances (known as penta and octa BDEs) are reused/recycled in new carpet padding products. These substances are Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs) which are listed on the Stockholm Convention/POPs Treaty, and are on track for global elimination together with DDT, PCB, PFOS and several other toxic pollutants.
Listen to IPEN Co-Chair Dr. Olga Speranskaya being interviewed on the Voice of Russia (26 July, 2011). In the interview Dr. Speranskaya. talks about POPs, how she became involved with the issue of chemical safety and contaminated sites in the EECCA region, asbestos, waste and other important issues.
Ministers and Heads of State from across the globe are convening in New York City, USA to discuss the environment and sustainable development, and potential action for Rio +20. At a ceremony on Tuesday, 10 May, Dr. Olga Speranskaya, IPEN Co-Chair and Head of the Chemicals Programme at the Russian NGO Eco-Accord, was acknowledged for her achievements related to toxics and chemicals.
IPEN has just released "An NGO Introduction to Mercury Pollution." This book provides information about mercury pollution and its harm to human health and the environment. The book also presents the major sources of mercury pollution and calls for civil society efforts at the local, national, and global level to work toward controlling human activities that release mercury into the environment.
IPEN Mercury Book .pdf 1.2MB
Mercury Book in Russian .pdf 3.26MB
Mercury Book in Spanish .pdf 2.19MB
Brominated and chlorinated flame retardants have increasingly attracted attention as a problematic class of chemical substances.
Now for the first time, nearly 150 scientists have assembled a comprehensive statement of concern about these chemicals which was recently published in Environmental Health Perspectives. Read the San Antonio Statement on Brominated and Chlorinated Flame.
The Stockholm Convention's Fifth Conference of the Parties (COP5) took place in Geneva, Switzerland from 25 - 29, April, 2011. Representatives from numerous IPEN Participating Organizations attended and participated.
The second meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to prepare a global legally binding instrument on Mercury (INC2) will be held in Chiba, Japan from 24 to 28 January, 2011.
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