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A Toxics-Free Future

Highlights Front Roll

New Report Reveals Dangerous Mercury Levels among Minamata COP1 Delegates
POPRC: No ‘Safe’ Concentration of PFOA in the Environment Can be Established
IPEN CEE Regional Meeting Participants Visit Czech Chemical Factory
New Report Reveals Chicken Eggs as an Indicator of POPs Pollution in Thailand

Chemical Watch Briefing
Global chemical safety – less talk, more implementation
Joe DiGangi, senior science and technical advisor, IPEN

Each year, hundreds of millions of factory and farm workers are injured by accidents, pesticides and industrial chemical exposures – a subset of an even larger population of people exposed to, and affected by, harmful chemicals.

One international agreement that should address the multitude of chemical safety struggles around the world is the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (Saicm). But there is a long way to go to fulfil Saicm’s chemical safety mission.

The Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint, a voluntary partnership established to help achieve international goals to prevent children’s exposure to lead paint and to minimize occupational exposures to lead paint, has featured IPEN's successful Asian Lead Paint Elimination Project in its new newsletter, stating, "Through the work of Alliance Partner IPEN and its partners in its EU-funded Asian Lead Paint Elimination Project, several countries in Asia have enacted or are planning to enact new limits on lead in paint."

Fernando Bejarano, Director of RAPAM, IPEN’s Regional Hub for Latin America and the Caribbean, participated in a workshop on “Minamata Convention, challenges and opportunities in Colombia” that was held in Bogota, Colombia in mid-November. The workshop was organized by the University of Los Andes Group on Environmental Law, the Colombian Environment and Foreign Officers Ministries, and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), with sponsorship from the Swiss government.

IPEN and representatives from numerous Participating Organizations have recently organized and/or participated in two important meetings relating to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs): the "1st African Conference on the Health Effects of Endocrine Disruptors - Challenges and Opportunities" (which took place in Skukuza, South Africa, from 2 – 6 November), and an "NGO meeting on European Policy on EDCs" (which took place in Brussels, Belgium, on 11 and 12 November).

Rejecting the malicious complaints filed in Manila to pester Dr. Romeo Quijano, a doctor, scientist and internationally recognized health expert, over 100 groups from 47 countries signed a joint appeal initiated by IPEN and Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP) asking the government of the Philippines to dismiss the dubious complaints and halt the harassment against Dr. Quijano, who is also a former co-chair of IPEN.

Jindrich Petrlik RNDr., Director of Arnika's Toxic and Waste Programme (as well as IPEN Regional Hub for Central and Eastern Europe and also host of IPEN's Dioxin, PCBs and Waste Working Group) was invited to present IPEN's views on toxic recycling at the recent World Recycling Convention in Prague, Czech Republic. The invitation was extended from the International Bureau of Recyclers, based on IPEN's side event at the last Stockholm Convention Conference of the Parties.

The presentation was based mainly on IPEN / Arnika reports about brominated flame retardants (BFRs) content in Rubik's cubes and examples of the use of waste incineration fly ash and bottom ash as construction materials.

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