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A Toxics-Free Future

2013 Milestones

Reducing and Eliminating the World’s Most Hazardous Chemicals

Strengthened global mercury treaty: IPEN participation in the negotiation of the mercury treaty resulted in a stronger treaty that addresses water and land pollution in addition to air emissions. IPEN’s work created greater awareness of the mercury issue worldwide and strengthened national efforts to eliminate longstanding mercury pollution. 

Promoting Stronger International Chemicals Standards

Global ban of brominated flame-retardant HBCD: IPEN worked with allies to successfully add the flame retardant chemical HBCD to the Stockholm Convention in 2013. HBCD is used primarily in building insulation and has been the third most commonly used flame retardant in commerce. IPEN worked with developing and transition countries to ensure that building insulation containing HBCD is not “recycled”.  This prevented a “recycling” loophole in the Convention that would continue release and exposure. In addition, IPEN worked with allies to successfully include a requirement to label new building insulation containing HBCD during the phase-out period.

Halting the Spread of Toxic Metals

Eliminating lead paint in key Asian markets: With a few exceptions, paint companies with the largest market share in seven Asian countries have now removed lead from paint, and new government initiatives to restrict the use of lead in paint are now in the works. Moreover, on the 23rd of December the Philippines government adopted a new order that will ban lead in paint over 90 ppm as well as prohibit lead in the production of food and beverage packaging and certain consumer products.

Building a Global Toxics-Free Movement

Global movement on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs): IPEN has developed a joint initiative with The Endocrine Society to elevate global awareness of EDCs. The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest, largest, and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology.

IPEN partnerships: IPEN has mobilized new technical and expert resources via IPEN’s institutional partnerships with the Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) to monitor mercury in fish and human hair. In addition, IPEN and the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Program (GEF SGP) have updated the 2005 Joint Communiqué and it will be released in 2014. The aim of the updated communiqué is to promote GEF SGP support for more chemical safety projects.

New Publications to help NGOs and others engage in chemical issues, including:

 Yu Tani, Shinobu Sakamoto and IPEN Co-Chair Manny Calonzo at a press conference at the Mercury Treaty Diplomatic Conference

Demonstration for lead-free paint at the 2013 week of action in the Philippines