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A Toxics-Free Future

Highlights Front Roll

IPEN at the Basel-Rotterdam-Stockholm Conferences of the Parties
Stories from the Clean Room
Ukraine Bans Asbestos
Some Paints in Tanzania Still Contain High Lead Levels
NGO Practical Guide on Chemicals in Products
Mercury Pollution Costs Billions in Lost Earning Potential in Cameroon

This study, conducted by Centre for Environment Justice and Development (CEJAD) in partnership with IPEN, presents new data on the total lead content of solvent-based paints for home use available on the market in Kenya. It also presents background information on why the use of lead paint is a source of serious concern, especially to children’s health; a review of national policy frameworks that are in place to ban or restrict the manufacture, import, export, distribution, sale and use of lead paint; and provides a strong justification to adopt and enforce further regulatory controls in Kenya. Finally, it proposes action steps by different stakeholders to protect children and others from lead paint.

IPEN Participating Organization MAMA-86 organized a press briefing with Ukraine’s Ministry of Health today in Kiev entitled: “Health without compromises – Ukraine’s Ministry of Health prohibits the use of asbestos and products containing it” to announce that Ukraine had formally banned asbestos. The event was addressed by Oksana Syvak, Deputy Minister for Public Health and European Integration, Olga Tsyguleva, Coordinator of the Program on Chemical Safety for MAMA-86, and Oleksil Shumilo, Head of Kharkiv City NGO “EcoPravo-Kharkiv.”

The National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea has paid meaningful attention to the hazardous conditions in the semi-conductor industry by hosting Supporters of Health and Rights of People in the Semi-Conductor Industry (SHARPs) and IPEN for a premiere of the new documentary film, "Stories from the Clean Room.” In preparation for the film premiere, IPEN Senior Science and Technical Advisor Joseph DiGangi, PhD wrote an article that appeared in the Korean media outlets OhMyNews and MediaToday. The main purpose of the article was to introduce the international concern about toxic exposure and occupational health and safety that has been generated by the deaths and grave illnesses of former Samsung workers.

To the Minjoo Party of Korea: We represent international networks that have been focusing for many years on human rights, occupational health and environmental health in the global electronics industry. We stand in solidarity with SHARPS during their historic 600+ day sit-in at Samsung.  

The recent framework agreement signed by the Minjoo Party and SHARPS (see below) provides key objectives for worker safety policies including right-to-know, protecting sub-contractor workers, and strengthening enforcement and penalties to increase corporate accountability. 

First ever peer-reviewed study on the economic burdens of mercury exposure near sources named in the Minamata Convention

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27594689

For Immediate Release

Göteborg, Sweden: Developing and transition countries stand to lose millions of dollars in earning potential every year due to mercury contamination, according to a new study published in The Journal of Environmental Management.[1] The analysis, led by noted researcher Dr. Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP, is the first peer-reviewed study to estimate economic losses due to diminishing IQ resulting from mercury contamination in these countries.

The study evaluated mercury concentrations in hair samples from 236 participants from 17 sites in 15 countries, and estimated an annual loss of $77 - $130 million USD to these specific communities. All study participants lived near highly toxic mercury sources named in the Minamata Convention, the international treaty that obligates parties to take actions to minimize and eliminate mercury pollution to protect human health and the environment. On May18th, the Convention reached the 50-country ratification milestone and will become international law August 16th.

At UN chemicals meeting, political will clashes with narrow commercial interests

 عرب/ français / русский / español / 中文

Geneva: Governments at the Stockholm Convention 8th Conference of the Parties (COP8) agreed to add three toxic chemicals to the treaty, but granted extensive loopholes for two of them. The chemicals are DecaBDE, SCCPs, and HCBD.1 All three chemicals are persistent, highly toxic, travel long distances and build up in the food chain. Loopholes were granted for DecaBDE and SCCPs and recent IPEN studies found both substances in children’s toys.2 A small group of countries rejected proposals to at least label new products containing the substances. Countries and consumers concerned about contaminated products will have no information about their content.

“This is the beginning of the end for DecaBDE, SCCPs, and HCBD,” said Dr. Olga Speranskaya, IPEN Co-Chair. “We urge governments to move quickly to prohibit these substances and not prolong harm through the use of exemptions.”

(Geneva) – At the Stockholm Convention 8th Conference of the Parties (COP8), governments bowed to corporate influences in the listing decisions concerning two toxic chemicals under provisions of the treaty. Although delegates agreed to list the chemicals for global elimination, the decisions allow exemptions that extend industrial uses far into the future.

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