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A Toxics-Free Future

Highlights Front Roll

The Future of Chemicals & Waste: IPEN at SAICM OEWG3
IPEN Views of Stockholm Convention COP9
New Report Reveals Plastic is a Human Health Crisis
Legal Opinion Finds Canada In Violation of Basel Convention
IPEN Ocean Pollutants Guide Now Available
Working to Eliminate Harm to Human Health & the Environment from Toxic Chemicals

Fire Safety, Business, and Public Interest Groups Voice Opposition to Exemptions for Toxic Industry

Fluorine-free alternatives used safely by world class airports and oil and gas industry demonstrate viable alternatives to a persistent toxic pollutant

Report: Fluorine-Free Firefighting Foams

(Göteborg, Sweden): PFOA, the “Teflon chemical,” the cause of vast contamination of ground and drinking water around the world, is a persistent pollutant and suspected carcinogen. PFOA was nominated in 2015 for a global ban under the UN Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. An upcoming UN expert group meeting will make recommendations to governments about adding PFOA to the treaty, including possible loopholes that would continue production and use. Experts across diverse fields, including business, fire safety regulation, airport authorities, environmental science and medical device suppliers, strongly condemn proposed exemptions, arguing there is no justification for continued use when viable alternatives exist.

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.

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