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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

Chemicals in Products

http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2018-01-02/labour-act-2017-hailed-for-ensuring-workers-wellbeing.html

Jan 2, 2018

Kathmandu, Nepal

The recently endorsed Labour Act-2017, which requires employers to ensure a safe working environment for workers’ health and safety, has been applauded by the stakeholders.

Read the executive summary of the report in English

No HazMat for the Holidays:
Children’s Toys and Hair Accessories on the EU Market Contain Toxic Chemicals

(Gotebörg, Sweden) Dangerous levels of toxic industrial chemicals have been found in children’s toys and hair accessories sold in the EU. The Stockholm Convention , a global, legally-binding chemical treaty, allows PBDEs — toxins that are so dangerous they are banned from new production — to enter the recycling stream and end up in the toys in children’s hands. The circular economy, say environmental health researchers, is contaminated by dangerous flame retardant chemicals.

Researchers from Arnika , an environmental health research NGO in the Czech Republic, tested a total of 41 products (16 children’s toys and 31 grooming and hair accessories) for brominated flame retardants, a class of chemicals associated with impacts on nervous system development, thyroid disruption, memory and learning problems, lower IQ, reduced fertility, and other impacts.

Signature Campaign and BBC Coverage

Leading advocates from human rights, labor rights, women’s rights, public health, environmental justice, and sustainable purchasing organizations from around the world are calling on Samsung to protect the thousands of workers - most of them women of child-bearing age - who are making their mobile phones at factories in Vietnam. A report from the Hanoi-based, gender equity NGO Research Center for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED) and IPEN identified numerous health and labor violations from interviews with 45 women who work at two of Samsung’s factories in Vietnam. Please sign and invite your network to join the signature campaign on Change.org .

BBC covered the release of the CGFED/IPEN report on 15 December, in which the news outlet highlighted report findings, including workers' experiences of extreme fatigue, fainting and dizziness at work, and many accounts of miscarriage. In response, deputy general manager of Samsung Electronics Vietnam, Bang Hyun Woo said,"This report does not have a scientific basis." He also said much of the content in the report was "false" and "arbitrary."

IPEN requests Samsung "transparently publishes a complete list of chemicals used at the manufacturing facilities and describes the control."

See BBC's coverage here.

Read Ms Magazine's coverage of the story: Exploited and Endangered: Female factory Workers in Vietnam Open Up About Their Work Conditions.

http://www.ciel.org/news/fueling-plastics/

Massive Petrochemical Investments Could Lock In Flood of New Plastics for Decades

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2017

UN Expert Committee recommends global action on outdated DDT-Contaminated Pesticide

(Rome, Italy) A UN technical committee has determined that Dicofol, an outdated DDT-contaminated pesticide should be eliminated globally under the Stockholm Convention, an international treaty that bans the world’s most hazardous chemical pollutants. 

The week-long meeting of the Stockholm Convention’s expert committee was held from 17-20th October 2017 and attended by many industry associations and companies involved in the production and use of fluorinated chemicals.

In Rome, the expert committee tackled a recommendation for adding PFOA to the treaty, including possible exemptions for continued uses. PFOA is known as the ‘Teflon chemical’ or C8 and has widely polluted drinking water throughout the world. The Committee began evaluation of the industry’s fluorinated substitute, PFHxS, which has been widely used as an alternative for PFOS.

IPEN joined the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and 17 additional NGOs in a letter to the European Commission to express concerns about conflict of interest in the Stockholm Convention evaluation of PFOA (the “Teflon chemical”). PFOA is used in textiles and fire-fighting foams and to make coatings such as Teflon. 

In 2015, the EU nominated PFOA for listing in the Stockholm Convention and agreed to lead the evaluation drafting process. However, instead of carrying out the work in-house, the EU hired an industry consultancy (BiPRO). This resulted in proposals for a sweeping set of loopholes that undermine a global ban. BiPRO’s client list includes companies that make and/or use fluorinated chemicals, including PFOA.

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