IPEN and representatives from numerous Participating Organizations have recently organized and/or participated in two important meetings relating to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs): the "1st African Conference on the Health Effects of Endocrine Disruptors - Challenges and Opportunities" (which took place in Skukuza, South Africa, from 2 – 6 November), and an "NGO meeting on European Policy on EDCs" (which took place in Brussels, Belgium, on 11 and 12 November).
Rejecting the malicious complaints filed in Manila to pester Dr. Romeo Quijano, a doctor, scientist and internationally recognized health expert, over 100 groups from 47 countries signed a joint appeal initiated by IPEN and Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP) asking the government of the Philippines to dismiss the dubious complaints and halt the harassment against Dr. Quijano, who is also a former co-chair of IPEN.
Jindrich Petrlik RNDr., Director of Arnika's Toxic and Waste Programme (as well as IPEN Regional Hub for Central and Eastern Europe and also host of IPEN's Dioxin, PCBs and Waste Working Group) was invited to present IPEN's views on toxic recycling at the recent World Recycling Convention in Prague, Czech Republic. The invitation was extended from the International Bureau of Recyclers, based on IPEN's side event at the last Stockholm Convention Conference of the Parties.
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.