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A Toxics-Free Future

Highlights Front Roll

IPEN Ocean Pollutants Guide Now Available
No Justification for Continued Use of PFOA
Working to Eliminate Harm to Human Health & the Environment from Toxic Chemicals
New Studies Show Paints Sold in Iraq & Mexico Contain Toxic Lead

In preparation for the 14th meeting of the Stockholm Convention POPs Review Committee (POPRC), which will take place 17 - 21 September in Rome, IPEN has developed a Quick Guide to IPEN Views on POPRC-14. This document highlights IPEN's views on issues that the Committee will tackle at the meeting, including consideration of exemptions and formal recommendations for listing PFOA in the treaty. The Committee will also determine if perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) – a regrettable substitute for PFOS – warrants global action. Finally, the POPRC will make recommendations about whether loopholes that permit continued use of PFOS are still needed.

The 38th International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) & 10th International PCB Workshop, DIOXIN 2018, took place from 26-31 August 2018 in Kraków, Poland.  The symposium and workshop are recognized as the leading international POPs meetings for chemical scientists and regulators.

The message of Dioxin 2018 was: “No boundaries in POPs pollution, research and control.”

Global Partnership for Action on Plastic Waste Also Proposed

Geneva.  6 September 2018.  The 11th Meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group of the Basel Convention, the world's only international treaty on waste control, concluded with widespread and growing support for a proposal by Norway to add plastic waste to the list of wastes subject to the trade controls under the convention. The proposal is seen as a key mechanism to stem the tide of marine debris and plastic litter.

Dear President Juncker,
We are writing to express concerns surrounding EU actions on setting hazardous waste limits for short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) under the Basel and Stockholm Conventions. This is an issue which has horizontal implications for issues such as circular economy, health, environment and internal market, each of which is affected by what hazardous waste limits are set for SCCPs. The Basel Convention Open-Ended Working (OEWG11) will discuss this issue for SCCPs and other substances at their meeting next week, 3-6 September 20181. Governments will finalize these limits at the Conferences of Parties for the treaties in April/May 20192. The EU has an important role to play as the nominator of SCCPs for listing in the Stockholm Convention, but its current proposal raises questions about its commitment to the Convention’s objectives.

(Göteborg, Sweden) The EU is advocating for hazardous waste limits under two UN treaties that could allow significant releases of a globally-banned chemical contaminate new products made of recycled plastic, and result in waste dumping in developing countries. Basel OEWG11 will tackle the issue 3 – 7 September in Geneva.

Roro Hills. Photo: Shweta Narayan.

Roro Hills, Jharkhand, India

Last week, India's National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered quick remediation of 25,000 cubic meters of asbestos waste in a towering pile in the village of Roro in the State of Jharkhand.  

The waste was left there 35 years ago by asbestos mining company Hindustan Industries Ltd. 

This big victory follows work that began in 2012, when ELAW partner Shweta Narayan traveled to the site to collect soil samples that documented dangerous levels of asbestos exposure. Even small amounts of asbestos can cause severe health problems, including lung cancer.

(Paint Labeled “100% Lead Free” is the Highest)

(Banjul, The Gambia) More than 80 percent of the paint brands included in a study analyzing lead in solvent-based paints for home use in The Gambia sold one or more paint that contained dangerously high total lead content greater than 10,000 parts per million (ppm). The maximum allowed limit in e.g. Cameroon and Kenya is 90 ppm, which is also the recommended limit by UN Environment. Two yellow paints from the brands National and Oasis, both of which were imported from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), contained the highest amount of lead at 100,000 ppm. Furthermore, two paints from the brand Oasis, manufactured by Al Gurg Paints LLC in UAE and advertised as “100% lead free,” contained 100,000 ppm and 65,000 ppm lead. These and other alarming findings are part of a report released today by the Young Volunteers for the Environment (YVE)-The Gambia and IPEN.

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