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A Toxics-Free Future



An independent food safety researcher has called on authorities in the Chinese mainland to impose tough limits on dioxin contamination of water and soil, following the detection of the carcinogen in Jiangsu hairy crabs sold in Hong Kong.
Cancer-linked chemicals found in Hong Kong hairy crab

Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety said on Tuesday it found excessive dioxin levels in two of five hairy crab samples from two mainland farms it tested. One sample had 11.7 picograms of the contaminant per gram and the other 40.3 picograms, well above the safe level of 6.5 picograms.

(Beijing, China) High levels of dioxins and similar dangerous pollutants were found in free range chicken eggs samples taken close to waste incinerators and other industrial hot spots in six localities in China, according to a new study released today. Chicken eggs are an important part of the Chinese diet, and the study warned that contamination found in the egg samples represents a serious threat to the public health of populations living in these locations.

中文 (Chinese)

(Beijing, China) A new study on lead in decorative paints sold in China released today by Insight Explorer and IPEN finds that more than half of the paints analyzed exceed Chinese lead regulations. Moreover, even when paint brands offer paint with lower levels of lead, consumers have no way of knowing it because very few of 141 paint cans analyzed in the study carried information about lead content on the label.

“The health impacts of lead exposure on young children’s brains are lifelong, irreversible and untreatable,” said Pan Qingan, Project Director of China Heavy Metal Pollution Map. “We are limiting our children and our nation’s future intellectual development even though safe and effective alternatives are already in use and widely available in China. We must reduce this critical source of lead exposure to young children.”

This new article in Chemistry World about a new catalyst over 30 years in the making features information about IPEN’s China Chemical Safety Project. The Project case study referred to in the article is about a Qihua PVC plant in Qiqihar, Heilongjiang Province.

The press release below, from IPEN Participating Organizations and other colleagues, relates to work on toxics in products that was carried out in China in 2012

(ECNS) - A non-governmental organization (NGO) report has revealed that 121 waste incineration plants in China have refused to disclose data on their pollution emissions, especially the whereabouts of fly ash, according to on Wednesday.

The report suggests that fly ash, which originates from the burning of household rubbish, is not fully understood and could be more damaging than was previously thought.

Beijing Serious environmental degradation in China has created a significant number of pollution victims, but there is no current legal framework to assist and guarantee their rights. In response, a multi-stakeholder conference in Beijing called for a new law to address this growing problem noting that China has already promulgated a series of laws for the rights and interests of certain vulnerable groups including the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities, the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Women, the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly, and the Law on the Protection of Minors.

“The scope of the problems faced by pollution victims is huge,” said Mao Da, from Green Beagle. “But there is no corresponding law that addresses assistance and guarantees their rights. This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.” The conference entitled “Suffering and hope – an annual review of assistance to pollution victims” examined this issue in a concluding event of the EU-funded project “Strengthening the capacity of pollution victims and civil society organizations to increase chemical safety in China” (1). Conference participants included environmentalists, lawyers, journalists, monitoring specialists and representatives of pollution victims. After reviewing case study examples of pollution victims, the conference agreed by consensus to call for the promulgation of the Law on Assistance to Pollution Victims and the Assurance of Their Rights and Interests. 

Environmental NGOs, Green Beagle (GB), Nature University (NU), IPEN and Arnika released today the Action Manual for Public Participation in EIA intended to help the public participate in the EIA process on an effective and rational basis.