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A Toxics-Free Future

2012 Milestones


  • IPEN launches a global Rio+20 Campaign to elevate chemical safety in the Rio+20 process, including by:
    • Actively participating in all preparatory negotiations and the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, focusing on strengthening the sections on chemicals and wastes.
    • Developing a “Rio+20 Common Statement for a Toxics-Free Future” with the World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Women in Europe for a Common Future, Pesticide Action Network, Northern Alliance for Sustainability, International Society of Doctors for the Environment, International Indian Treaty Council, Global Alliance for Incineration Alternatives, and Healthcare Without Harm. More than 1000 NGOs around the world sign the statement.
  • IPEN convenes a global meeting and Toxics-Free Future Forum in Brazil with broad outreach to IPENers in the country. The meeting is conducted simultaneously in English, Portuguese and Spanish. IPEN group waving at 2012 General Assembly in Brazil
  • IPEN participates in the Rio+20 Conference in Brazil and succeeds in raising the profile of toxics issues in the chemicals and waste section of the “Future We Want” Rio + 20 document.
  • IPEN produces a “Public Interest Guide to Toxic Flame Retardants” and makes it available in English and Spanish.
  • IPEN and partners develop booklets about the social and environmental implications of nanotechnology in Latin America (Spanish, English and Portuguese) and in Africa (English and French).
  • IPEN collaborates with Participating Organization Green Beagle to conduct a study of mercury, arsenic, and lead in skin-lightening creams from 10 provinces in China. As a result, the country’s most popular on-line retailer pulled seven products and the results were made publicly available in a bilingual searchable database. The study received wide media attention and appreciation by relevant regulatory agencies.
  • IPEN actively works with colleagues around the world for the passage of a policy statement by the American Public Health Association entitled, “Improving Occupational and Environmental Health in the Global Electronics Industry.”
  • The United Nations Environment Programme provides support to IPEN to conduct a study of lead in paints in nine countries to contribute to the work of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint.
  • IPEN concludes its three-year International SAICM Implementation Project (ISIP), with over 100 projects in 50 countries.
  • IPEN releases a 2009-2012 “Citizens Report.” The Report describes, amongst other things, IPEN’s implementation of the SAICM agreement through the International SAICM Implementation Project (ISIP); its heavy metals program; the Global Common Statement for a Toxics-Free Future; and targeted work on SAICM emerging policy issues including lead in paint, electronics, nanotechnology, and chemicals in products.
  • IPEN presents its contributions to the implementation of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) at the 3rd International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM3) in Kenya.
  • Prior to the ICCM3, IPEN conducts an international SAICM training in Kenya, with 55 NGOs from 27 countries participating.
  • IPEN’s Nanotechnology Working Group is instrumental in the adoption of a nano resolution at ICCM3 and the addition of 13 new nano-specific activities in the SAICM Global Plan of Action.
  • IPEN contributes significantly to the adoption of e-products and chemicals in products resolutions at ICCM3.
  • IPEN experts contribute to the successful finalization and the revision of the Toolkit for Identification and Quantification of Releases of Dioxins and Furans and Other Unintentional POPs, which will be presented at the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention.
  • IPEN enters into a partnership with the Biodiversity Research Institute to conduct a study of mercury in fish and hair near global hotspots in developing and transition countries around the world.
  • IPEN’s Regional Hub for Anglophone Africa, AGENDA for Environment and Responsible Development (AGENDA), organizes a workshop for African NGOs and CSOs to share experiences on chemical safety. Representatives from 12 NGOs / CSOs, government officials and media attend, and at the culmination, a Declaration by African NGOs and CSOs on Mercury (in preparation for the Fifth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on a global mercury treaty) is finalized. A Declaration on DDT, in preparation for the Sixth Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention, was also drafted. 
  • IPEN conducts a study on toxics in children’s products with IPEN Participating Organizations in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian and the Ukraine. The study measured toxic metals — lead, mercury, arsenic, & antimony — 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. View results.