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A Toxics-Free Future

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Highlights Front Roll

Plastics, EDCs & Health Report Links Chemical Additives and Health Effects
Understanding the Connection between COVID-19 and Chemicals
Holding Producers Responsible: Financing the Sound Management of Chemicals
Report Highlights Threats of Toxic Additives in Plastic
Australia plastics waste ban highjacked by incineration proposals
IPEN Leader Speaks Against US Dumping Plastics and Chemicals in Africa
Study Reveals High Levels of Lead in Spray Paints

Today, at the opening session of the Mercury Treaty COP3, Mr. Koichiro Matsunaga, Minamata Disease Patient, addressed the delegates in plenary. In a moving statement, Mr. Matsunaga, who was exposed to mercury in the womb, reminded delegates of the real-life implications of mercury poisoning. Born in 1963, Mr. Matsunaga could not walk until 7 years old due to Minamata Disease. Despite his disabilities, he enjoyed riding bicycles, but in 2010, it became difficult for him to walk because of increasing pain, which forced him to live in a wheelchair. He stated, "Minamata disease is not over yet. Problems have not been solved yet. I do not want to see any more children suffer like us." He implored delegates: "Please take appropriate control of mercury for future children. I need the whole world to avoid causing any more tragedy by mercury."

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In the run-up to the Mercury Treaty's 3rd Conference of the Parties (COP3), which will take place in Switzerland from 25 - 29 November, 2019, IPEN has prepared three informative briefs related to contaminated sites; mercury waste thresholds and definitions; and dental amalgam and gold plating (review of Annex A (mercury-added products) and Annex B (processes using mercury).

These briefs provide information about why IPEN believes guidance on contaminated sites must be adopted at the COP3; why 1 mg/kg for mercury waste thresholds should be the maximum concentration for health and environment protections; and why IPEN suports amendments to Annex A and B of the treaty. 

русский, English, español, français, العربية

This document presents IPEN's views about some issues that will be addressed at the 3rd Conference of the Parties for the Mercury Treaty, including open burning, effectiveness evaluation, review of Annexes A & B, waste thresholds, contaminated sites, and more.

Alarming Levels of Dioxins, PFOS & Other Banned Chemicals Found in Eggs Sampled Near Plastic Waste Hot Spots in Indonesia

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(Gothenburg, Sweden): Highly toxic chemicals, posing dire risks to human health, have been found in dangerous concentrations in free-range chicken eggs in Indonesian communities where plastic waste accumulates. Among the alarming findings were high levels of dioxins in eggs collected near an Indonesian factory that burns plastics for fuel. The high dioxin concentrations are similar to levels in eggs collected near the Agent Orange hotspot in Bien Hoa, Vietnam, considered one of the most dioxin-contaminated locations on earth. The study is the first to demonstrate food chain contamination in Southeast Asia with high levels of hazardous chemicals as a consequence of waste mismanagement and plastic waste imports.

A small mine on Sumbawa. Miners often dig for ore on land without permission or government permits. Credit...Adam Dean for The New York Times

New York Times - Hidden Cost of Gold

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CIDAHU, Indonesia — Thousands of children with crippling birth defects. Half a million people poisoned. A toxic chemical found in the food supply. Accusations of a government cover-up and police officers on the take.

This is the legacy of Indonesia’s mercury trade, a business intertwined with the lucrative and illegal production of gold.

IPEN Press Release

IPEN, the International Pollutants Elimination Network,
Two Decades of Reducing and Eliminating the Most Harmful Chemicals

(Gothenburg, Sweden) IPEN, the global environmental health network with over 550 public interest organizations in 122 countries, is changing its name as it kicks off the next twenty years of science, policy and advocacy work to forge a toxics-free future for all.  IPEN now stands for International Pollutants Elimination Network.

IPEN Press Release

Study Highlights Need for Comprehensive Lead Paint Regulations to Protect Children’s Health 

International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action Observed in 40 Countries 

(Gothenburg, Sweden) Children’s playgrounds in Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, and Thailand have been revealed to contain painted equipment with lead levels above 90 ppm, the recommended limit by UN Environment Program. Playgrounds containing dangerously high levels of lead exceeding 10,000 ppm were discovered in four of the countries studied. The concerning data was released during the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week  (October 20-26, 2019) spearheaded by the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint that is observing its 10th anniversary this year. Environmental health experts say the data underscores the ongoing need for strong lead paint bans that is inclusive not just of decorative paints, but all types of paint irrespective of use.

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