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A Toxics-Free Future

Highlights Front Roll

IPEN 2016 Global Meeting & Toxics-Free Future Forum
Environmentalists raise alarm over chemicals in Lake Naivasha
IPEN's Perspectives on SAICM Beyond 2020
New IPEN Video: Introduction to the Dioxin Toolkit

Worried about everyday exposure of infants and children to potential chemicals of concern, IPEN Participating Organization WECF has released a survey on 341 baby cosmetics – cleansing milks, lotions, shampoos, bath products, ointments, baby wipes, cleansing waters, eaux de toilettes, sun protection products – sold on the French market in pharmacies, parapharmacies, supermarkets and organic shops. WECF’s experts assessed the products’ ingredients based on the labels. Based on an analysis of existing scientific literature and opinions by European Union (Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety - SCCS) and French (National Agency for the Safety of Medical and cosmetic products - ANSM) risk assessment agencies, the experts classified the ingredients or families of ingredients used in the 341 products in three categories from “high risk” to “moderate risk” and “low or not identified risk”.

IPEN has released its first Global Lead Paint Elimination Campaign newletter, and it features information about a recent meeting held in Ethiopia where African leaders committed to set legal limits on lead in paint, as well as highlights from the 2015 International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. These highlights include activities from NGOs in Bangladesh, Belarus, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mauritius, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. 

Read the newsletter here.

News Release

Representatives of European Union (EU) countries will this week examine an application by Canadian-based Dominion Colour Corporation to continue to use lead pigments despite a ban from the European Chemicals Agency. Dominion has spent over 1 million Euros over the past three years to be exempted from an EU ban on two lead pigments used in paints, which was originally scheduled to come into effect in May 2015. Dominion states that its lead pigments are supposed to be used for industrial purposes.

“Other paint companies including the largest ones in Europe have already stopped using lead in paint and support the ban,” said Tatiana Santos of the European Environmental Bureau, “We are outraged that a Canadian company is single-handedly fighting to continue the use of lead pigments in paint.”

Dominion is one of the largest manufacturers of lead pigments in the world and has factories in Canada, Europe and other countries. At a February 3 and 4, 2016 meeting of the EU REACH Committee, representatives of EU countries will discuss Dominion's application.

“The biggest paint company in the world, AkzoNobel, stopped using lead in any of its products, including industrial paints, since 2011,” said Perry Gottesfeld, Executive Director of Occupational Knowledge International. “We urge the EU REACH Committee to deny Dominion's claims and act to protect public health.”

中文 (Chinese)

(Beijing, China) A new study on lead in decorative paints sold in China released today by Insight Explorer and IPEN finds that more than half of the paints analyzed exceed Chinese lead regulations. Moreover, even when paint brands offer paint with lower levels of lead, consumers have no way of knowing it because very few of 141 paint cans analyzed in the study carried information about lead content on the label.

“The health impacts of lead exposure on young children’s brains are lifelong, irreversible and untreatable,” said Pan Qingan, Project Director of China Heavy Metal Pollution Map. “We are limiting our children and our nation’s future intellectual development even though safe and effective alternatives are already in use and widely available in China. We must reduce this critical source of lead exposure to young children.”

Environment & Public Health Groups Applaud as Sierra Leone Rejects Deal

Beirut, Lebanon. Seattle, USA. January 12, 2016. Sierra Leone just announced that they want no part of a reported deal that would send Lebanese household waste to the West African nation. Last month, the Government of Lebanon approved a plan to export many tons of household trash from Beirut and Mount Lebanon to an African or Middle-Eastern country. The global dumping plan has been denounced by local and international waste experts as not only likely illegal but also environmentally irresponsible.

Despite the opposition, Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb, chair of the ministerial committee in charge of the waste management plan, announced that the government has agreed to contract two international companies in accordance with local and international laws to export Lebanon's trash -- Howa BV from the Netherlands and Chinook Urban Mining International of the United Kingdom.

Former IPEN Co-Chair (and current Senior Advisor) is featured in this article from Verandah Magazine:

From a tiny village in the Northern Rivers to representing Civil Society at the UN, Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith has been fighting against chemical pollution for decades – and now, she’s pleased to report, PFOA (Teflon) has been nominated for an international ban.

At the time, it seemed like a rural idyll. Move with your child from a polluted inner city to beautiful small acreage, build a home in the bush, and live a more natural lifestyle. “That’s what I thought, anyway,” says long-term environmental campaigner and now Ballina resident and global citizen Mariann Lloyd-Smith.

Dr. Geiser has been presented with the “Frank Hatch Environmental Health Leadership Award” from the Environmental Health Strategy Center (EHSC) in Maine, United States. The award marks his outstanding lifetime contributions to the field of environmental health regionally and nationally.

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