IPEN has joined other NGO representatives, doctors and professors in a letter to the editor in support of Friends of the Earth (FoE) UK and in response to a pro-fracking article in The Times (UK). The article quotes Cuadrilla, an oil and gas exploration and production company with headquarters and operations in the United Kingdom, who disparages Friends of the Earth’s assertions that silica, which is sometimes used in fracking operations, has been shown to pose a silicosis and lung cancer risk.
The newsletter features updates from IPEN Participating Organizations on some of their work in the region, including from Sevlanka Foundation, Environment and Social Development Organization (ESDO), LEADERS Nepal, Toxics Link, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Jagrata Juba Shangha (JJS), Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED), and Centre for Innvovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA).
Global Phase Out of Lead-Containing Paints by 2020 Supported by International Chemical Safety Group
(Gothenburg, Sweden) More than 80 organizations from all regions of the world are engaging this week in lead paint elimination activities as a part of International Lead Poisoning Week of Action, co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The activities follow and celebrate a historic decision at the end of September by governments from around the world in support of a global phase out of lead paint by 2020.
“It’s essential for our society to respond to this global challenge and make the phase out of lead paint a top public health priority. We must act with urgency as the health of our children can be permanently and irreversibly damaged even at very low exposures to lead. Safe, cost-effective alternatives to lead in paint have been in use for more than 40 years in the United States, the European Union and other high income countries. There is no good reason that lead paint continues to be sold,” said Dr. Sara Brosché, International Lead Paint Elimination Project Manager at IPEN, a global civil society network pursuing safe chemicals policies and practices.
PFOA - the “Teflon chemical” - starts its journey to global elimination
(Rome, Italy) A UN expert committee recommended the global elimination of DecaBDE – a toxic flame retardant chemical widely used in electrical equipment and present in e-waste. In its recommendation for the Stockholm Convention, the Committee cited DecaBDE’s persistence, bioaccumulation, long-range transport, and its toxic impacts. Governments around the world will decide on the recommendation in May 2017, but typically accept the recommendations of its expert committees.
The Committee decision recommends that governments consider granting specific exemptions for use of DecaBDE in some legacy spare parts in the automotive and aerospace industries. The Boeing Company and the Aerospace and Defence industries Association of Europe and the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) pressured for these exemptions but when asked, could not specify which parts they claim need to be exempted.
In preparation for the 11th meeting of the Stockholm Convention's POPs Review Committee (POPRC), which will take place 19 – 23 October in Rome, IPEN has developed a Quick Guide to IPEN Views on POPRC11. This document highlights IPEN's views on issues that the Committee will tackle at the meeting, including whether DecaBDE (extensively used as an additive flame retardant), dicofol (a chemical that kills mites that is structurally similar to DDT), short-chained chlorinated paraffins (used in metalworking, flame retardants, paints, adhesives and sealants, plastics and rubber etc.), and PFOA (the “Teflon chemical”) should move forward in the Convention evaluation process, along with decisions regarding the unintentional production of hexachlorobutadiene and an update of a guidance document on PFOS alternatives.
Prague, 12 October 2015 — A new survey found toxic flame retardant chemicals from electronic waste are recycled into plastic children’s toys for sale in the European Union. Measurements of 21 toys purchased in six EU countries found that 43% of them contained significant levels of OctaBDE and/or DecaBDE. OctaBDE is listed in the Stockholm Convention for global elimination. DecaBDE is under evaluation by the Stockholm Convention expert committee which has concluded that “global action is warranted.” Both chemicals are ubiquitous in the environment globally and can disrupt human hormone systems, creating potential adverse effects on the development of the nervous system and children’s IQ.
IPEN has joined NGOs and colleagues in an open letter to the Ocean Conservancy about its report “Stemming the Tide.” The report promotes incineration in Asia as a supposed "solution" to the problem of ocean plastics.