IPEN Side Event: The Global PFAS Problem: Fluorine-Free Alternatives as a Solution
Time: 18:15 - 19:45
Place: Rooms 7 & 8, Level 2, CICG Building, Geneva, Switzerland
IPEN has convened an international panel of independent experts from the fields of fire safety, chemistry, health, product formulation, remediation, and policy. These experts come from the oil and gas and aviation sectors and are in Geneva to inform BRS COP Delegates about solutions to the PFAS problem that include fluorine-free firefighting foams.
For more details about the event, please see the flyer here
IPEN Press Conference
IPEN held a press conference in Geneva to promote a new press release: "Firefighters, oil and aviation industry representatives, and Indigenous Peoples call for a global ban on PFAS chemicals with no loopholes for toxic firefighting foams at UN meeting."
Industry fire-safety experts assert - and IPEN agrees - that no exemption is needed because cost-effective, fluorine-free alternatives work as well or better than PFOA- and other PFAS-containing foams. Unlike PFAS-containing foams, fluorine-free alternatives do not cause long-term harm to human health and the environment or incur the extremely high cleanup costs of PFAS-containing foams. PFOA never breaks down, it can cause cancer and it is found in the blood of Arctic Indigenous Peoples and wildlife.
Featured speakers at the press release were:
• Mr. Kim Olsen, Head, Copenhagen Airport Rescue and Firefighting Academy, Copenhagen Airport, Denmark
• Commander Michael Tisbury, Vice President of the United Firefighters Union, Metropolitan Fire Brigade, Melbourne, Australia
• Ms. Vi Waghiyi, Arctic Indigenous Expert (Yupik), St. Lawrence Island, Alaska USA
• Mr. Lars Ystanes, Environmental Specialist, Equinor, Bergen, Norway
Following the press conference, Reuters international news association printed the article, "China seeks loophole as UN nears pact banning toxic chemical- activists."
See a video of the press conference here.
IPEN "Egg Action"
IPENers distributed crackers with eggs to delegates to highlight the extreme food chain contamination from highly toxic plastics in waste in Ghana that includes toxic e-waste shipped from Europe. IPEN and BAN researchers found the highest levels of brominated and chlorinated dioxins— some of the most hazardous chemicals on Earth— ever measured in free-range chicken eggs in Agbogbloshie, Ghana. The contamination results primarily from the breaking apart of discarded electronics (e-waste) and burning plastics to recover metals. Plastics from vehicle upholstery are also burned on the site and contribute to the contamination.
Eating just 2.5g of egg from a hen foraging in Agbogbloshie contains the equivalent of the daily intake of dioxins for 15 people.
Read the report here
See the flyer that was handed to delegates here
Opening of the BRS COPs
IPENers greeted delegates on the first day of the the Basel-Rotterdam-Stockholm Conventions Conferences of the Parties (BRS COP) by wearing shirts that state, "IPEN Loves Firefighters / Fluorine-Free Firefighting Foam- Global Ban on PFOA" to show that we stand with firefighters (who suffer extraordinarily high rates of cancer) and everyone fighting for fluorine-free fIrefighting foam. IPEN aimed to remind the delegates that they are here to work towards stronger protection for firefighters, children, communities and the environment- and that the production and use of PFOA, PFOS and PFAS needs to stop.
More on the dangers of PFOA and sensible alternatives can be found in The Global PFAS Problem: Fluorine-Free Alternatives as Solutions.
Related to Policy Area
News about POPs