Regional Workshop for Central and Eastern Europe 19-20 March 2019, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Friday, 29 March 2019
IPENers from ten countries participated in a regional workshop organized by UNEP on the theme of promoting regulatory and voluntary action by government and industry to phase out lead in paint. IPEN's work, together with its participating organizations, was highlighted throughout the workshop, including presentations of the role of civil society, paint studies conducted in the region and working with SMEs to facilitate the phase out of lead from paint. Activities to eliminate lead paint by Greenwomen in Kazakhstan and Mama-86 in Ukraine were also presented, along with with information shared from the floor by several IPEN POs. Group discussions during the second day of the workshop provided additional opportunities for IPENers to provide their experiences and expertise in order to develop national approaches mapping out how new regulations on lead paint could be adopted, or existing ones strengthened.
Read more about IPEN's vision for the future of chemical safety in our Perspectives for OEWG-3here.
Learn more about IPEN's activities during the OEWG-3 here.
The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) will hold its 3rd Meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG-3) from 2- 4 April, 2019 in Montevideo, Uruguay and IPEN will participate. SAICM is the only international agreement that addresses the full range of known and newly discovered health and environmental concerns associated with the production and use of chemicals. The 2006 decision that established SAICM expires in 2020 and now there is a global process (the "Beyond 2020" process) to determine what comes next.
The Beyond 2020 process has one required result: It must, “develop recommendations regarding measurable objectives in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” In response, the IPEN Steering Committee adopted a one-page Toxics-Free Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Pledge in October 2018 that explains actions for a toxics-free future that are essential for sustainable development. This reflects a series of papers on relevant Beyond 2020 topics developed by IPEN and the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) in 2017, including measurable objectives in support of Agenda 2030.
(Anchorage, Alaska, US): With a unanimous vote, the Anchorage Assembly passed Assembly Ordinance 2019-15(S), an ordinance prohibiting certain consumer products containing flame retardant chemicals at the March 19 regular assembly meeting. This landmark public health ordinance now stands among the strongest laws in the nation.
“One of the core values of ACAT is the elimination of chemicals that harm environmental and human health and to replace them with safe alternatives,” said Pamela Miller, Executive Director of Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) and Co-Chair of IPEN. “There is considerable peer-reviewed scientific information about the adverse health effects of flame-retardant chemicals including cancer and neurodevelopmental and reproductive toxicity. This ordinance moves our city one step closer to eliminating the unnecessary use of harmful flame retardants in all household products. We appreciate the work of the Anchorage Assembly to achieve its passage,” she said.
A new report on plastics and toxic additives has been released. This report was prepared by the Marine Litter Topic Group lead by the Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in Spain as part of its activities under the Convention on the impact of plastic waste, marine plastic litter, microplastics and measures for their prevention and environmentally sound management. Several IPEN Participating Organizations and IPEN Science Advisors contributed to this report. Click here to read the full report.
UNEA-4 Agreement Does Not Deliver at Scale and Urgency Needed
Friday, 15 March 2019
Nairobi, Kenya – At the 4thsession of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-4), member states of the UN Environment Programme failed to meet expectations to confront the ever-growing plastic-pollution crisis threatening our waterways, ecosystems, and health.
At UNEA-4, member states considered several resolutions designed to increase international action to halt plastic pollution. The first, proposed by Norway, Japan, and Sri Lanka, sought to strengthen international cooperation and coordination on marine plastic litter and microplastics, including through considering a possible new legally binding agreement. The second, proposed by India, sought to promote the phase-out single-use plastics worldwide.
With six other health and environment groups, IPEN has written a letter to European Environment Ministers and members of the EU Parliament and Commission to express concerns about toxic recycling. In the letter, the NGOs call on them to adopt strict and protective limits for PBDEs in articles and waste into the POPs Regulation, so that the EU will comply with its obligations stemming from the Stockholm Convention.
This letter addresses the European Parliament and Council decision on the reform of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that was announced in late February. Hailed as protective for health, the decision will actually cause more children to be exposed to hazardous flame-retardant chemicals associated with thyroid disruption and neurological deficits. The decision permits high levels of hazardous brominated flame retardants (PBDEs) that are in electronics waste, including those already banned by the Stockholm Convention, to be allowed in recycled plastics.