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A Toxics-Free Future


About IPEN

For a Toxics-Free Future

IPEN is a global network of public interest NGOs working together for a world in which toxic chemicals are no longer produced or used in ways that harm human health and the environment.

We are comprised of over 550 Participating Organizations in more than 122 countries, primarily in countries with developing and transitional economies. IPENers take action internationally, working on local, regional and global campaigns and policies to:

  • Protect women and children from toxic chemicals
  • Reduce and eliminate the world’s most harmful chemicals
  • Eliminate lead in paint
  • Reduce mercury pollution
  • Demand that the private sector disclose information about chemicals in their products
  • Promote agroecology and toxics-free electronics

IPEN was founded in 1998 and is registered in Sweden as a non-profit, public interest organization. The organization is known by the name IPEN. IPEN stands for International Pollutants Elimination Network.

IPEN group 2016 Global Meeting

IPEN works in four primary areas:

Reducing and Eliminating the World’s Most Hazardous Chemicals.

IPEN played a critical role in shaping the first treaty to ban the world’s most dangerous chemicals – the Stockholm Convention– and remains influential in the implementation of this treaty as well as the Rotterdam and Basel Conventions and the recently adopted Mercury Treaty. IPEN identifies and advocates for adding new chemicals for elimination; brings new scientific information about harmful chemicals to treaty discussions; and builds the capacity of NGOs and governments to advocate for treaty provisions relevant to their national situations.

Promoting Stronger International Chemicals Standards.

IPEN raises the profile of sound chemicals management as an economic development strategy around the world; wins increased funding for chemical safety projects at the country level; exposes dangerous chemicals in products; and raises the profile of toxics issues previously not on the agenda for global attention, such as nanomaterials, endocrine disrupting chemicals, lead in paint, and toxic chemicals in the lifecycle of electronic products.

Halting the Spread of Toxic Metals.

IPEN’s Mercury-Free Campaign played a key role in strengthening the new global Mercury Treaty, adopted in 2013. IPEN’s Global Lead Paint Elimination Campaign is working to eliminate the widespread production and use of lead paint in developing and transition countries.

Building a Global Toxics-Free Movement.

IPEN serves a global information source for a wide variety of audiences: NGOs, grassroots organizers, scientists, health officials, international officials, and governments, among others. Its international trainings and capacity-building work, publications, and media outreach have made it a “go to” source for emerging information on toxic chemicals and wastes.


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