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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

Chemicals in products

Electronics corporations converge at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week where they roll out latest tech innovations.

Health and environmental advocates are holding a counter event called the Mobile Social Congress to make visible the social, health, and environmental impacts in the design, raw material mining, production, use and waste of electronics. Recent research from IPEN Partners, the Research Center for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED), exposed health and labor violations of women workers at Samsung Vietnam mobile phone factories. IPEN made a presentation for Mobile Social Congress laying out the concerning findings, Samsung’s efforts to suppress the study, and why the safe and healthy working conditions in the electronics industry should concern us all.

January 18, 2017: Your dry cleaned clothes may be unsuspectingly exposing you to PERC, a toxic chemical, known to have high probability of being carcinogen, reveals “Cleaning Clothes: but what about environment and health” , a report released by Toxics Link today. In the first of its kind of study in India done by this environmental group, garments were tested for PERC after dry cleaning and 75% of them were found to contain the harmful chemical residue.

IPEN has prepared "Quick Views" documents for the following SAICM regional meetings:

These documents highlight IPEN views on SAICM Beyond 2020 issues such as vision, policy principles, objectives and milestones, governance, high-level political commitment and financing. The document also follows IPEN comments that were provided to Brazil and Canada, the Co-Chairs of SAICM's "Beyond 2020" intersessional process. 

Updates about IPEN's work during the SAICM regional meetings will be posted here. Additional IPEN policy papers relevant to the Beyond 2020 process can be found here, and IPEN's activities during the 1st Meeting of the Intersessional Process for SAICM Beyond 2020 that took place in Brazil in February, 2017 are detailed here.

The Czech environmental group Arnika is ringing alarm bells. According to the results of a recent study it conducted, some children’s toys and grooming accessories, such as hair brushes, sold in the EU contain toxic substances. Arnika’s Karolína Brabcová says this is an unfortunate side product of the drive to promote plastics recycling.

Listen on Czech Radio: http://www.radio.cz/en/section/panorama/the-downside-of-plastics-recycli...

Read or download the full report here.

IPEN Participating Organization, Toxics Link has released a new report revealing detections of the endocrine disrupting chemical, BPA in thermally printed paper.

Signature Campaign and BBC Coverage

Leading advocates from human rights, labor rights, women’s rights, public health, environmental justice, and sustainable purchasing organizations from around the world are calling on Samsung to protect the thousands of workers - most of them women of child-bearing age - who are making their mobile phones at factories in Vietnam. A report from the Hanoi-based, gender equity NGO Research Center for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED) and IPEN identified numerous health and labor violations from interviews with 45 women who work at two of Samsung’s factories in Vietnam. Please sign and invite your network to join the signature campaign on Change.org .

BBC covered the release of the CGFED/IPEN report on 15 December, in which the news outlet highlighted report findings, including workers' experiences of extreme fatigue, fainting and dizziness at work, and many accounts of miscarriage. In response, deputy general manager of Samsung Electronics Vietnam, Bang Hyun Woo said,"This report does not have a scientific basis." He also said much of the content in the report was "false" and "arbitrary."

IPEN requests Samsung "transparently publishes a complete list of chemicals used at the manufacturing facilities and describes the control."

See BBC's coverage here.

Read Ms Magazine's coverage of the story: Exploited and Endangered: Female factory Workers in Vietnam Open Up About Their Work Conditions.

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