(Prague, Brussels): The European Parliament and Council decision on the reform of the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) announced this week, hailed as protective for health, will cause more children to be exposed to hazardous flame-retardant chemicals associated with thyroid disruption and neurological deficits. The decision permits high levels of hazardous brominated flame retardants (PBDEs) that are in electronics waste, including those already banned by the Stockholm Convention, to be allowed in recycled plastics.
Washington, DC—A new report released today reveals that plastic is a human health crisis hiding in plain sight. Plastic & Health: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet, authored by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Earthworks, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF), IPEN, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (t.e.j.a.s.), University of Exeter, and UPSTREAM, brings together research that exposes the distinct toxic risks plastic poses to human health at every stage of the plastic lifecycle, from extraction of fossil fuels, to consumer use, to disposal and beyond.
To date, research into the human health impacts of plastic have focused narrowly on specific moments in the plastic lifecycle, often on single products, processes, or exposure pathways. This approach fails to recognize that significant, complex, and intersecting human health impacts occur at every stage of the plastic lifecycle: from wellhead to refinery, from store shelves to human bodies, and from waste management to ongoing impacts of microplastics in the air, water, and soil. Plastic & Health presents the full panorama of human health impacts of plastic and counsels that any solution to the plastic crisis must address the full lifecycle.
According to the report, uncertainties and knowledge gaps often impede regulation and the ability of consumers, communities, and policymakers to make informed decisions. However, the full scale of health impacts throughout plastic’s lifecycle are overwhelming and warrant a precautionary approach.
EcoWaste Leads Move Against Canadian Illegal Dumping
Friday, 01 February 2019
For the past six years, EcoWaste Coalition, an IPEN participating organization from the Philippines that promotes chemical safety and zero waste, has been leading a movement to demand that Canada repatriate illegally dumped toxic household waste, which has been rotting in Philippine ports.
At issue are 103 shipping container vans of mixed garbage from Canada that were exported to the Philippines under the guise of “recycled goods.” The scandal began in 2013 when Canadian shipping containers entered Philippine ports and wrongly declared the household garbage as scrap plastics for recycling. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had made assurances in 2017 that he would resolve the stinking waste scandal. Today, the problem still festers.
This SDG Knowledge Weekly spotlights recent findings and platforms on SDG 14 (life below water). The brief also reviews a few items on decarbonization towards SDG 13 (climate action), which researchers note plays a key role in ocean-related challenges.
Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental/Quezon City. The waste and pollution watch group, EcoWaste Coalition, applauded the departure from the Philippines of 51 containers of illegal garbage exports from South Korea extolling the move as a “triumph for environmental justice, morality and the rule of law.”
IPEN and its partner organisations are continuing the fight against the use of lead chromates in paints.
The legal challenge brought in 2017 by IPEN, the International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec), ClientEarth and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) is still ongoing. The case challenges a decision of the European Commission allowing the use of two highly hazardous pigments in road markings and painting industrial machines.
Life on earth is utterly dependent on healthy oceans. They produce much of the oxygen we breathe, cycle the carbon dioxide, and regulate the weather we experience. Perhaps it is the vastness of the oceans that has made us complacent about its capacity to keep absorbing our toxic wastes?
After a year of global ocean meetings, the international community is finally facing up to the reality of polluted, depleted oceans.
Policies to protect the marine environment that do not address the finite nature of our world will fail.