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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

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Southeast Asia

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have received significant public and media attention in the US, EU, and Australia, in part due to their toxicity, extreme persistence, and documented water pollution. However, information about PFAS in other parts of the world is largely lacking and the information which is available is difficult to access.

Over the past few months, IPEN Participating Organizations in twelve Middle Eastern and Asian countries conducted surveys to explore possible PFAS uses and pollution sources, scientific studies and government actions, including under the Stockholm Convention. Countries covered include: Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Ground-breaking report finds greater monitoring needed

Quezon City, Philippines/Gothenburg, Sweden - In the first public study of its kind, environmental health groups EcoWaste Coalition and IPEN uncovered spray paints with dangerous lead concentrations — some samples containing levels hundreds of times higher than global standards — on sale in the Philippines in violation of the country’s law banning lead in paints.

The report shows that nearly half of the spray paints tested exceeded the total lead content limit above 90 parts per million (ppm), and nearly a third contained levels higher than 10,000 ppm. Samples were obtained from various retail outlets, including hardware stores, home improvement centers, general merchandise marts, school and office supplies shops, in 20 cities and one municipality in Metro Manila and various parts of Luzon.

Several of the spray paints containing lead were imported from countries with existing, legally-binding lead paint regulations, such as China and Thailand. The Philippine Association of Paint Manufacturers (PAPM) confirmed that none of the analyzed samples in this study was produced by one of its affiliates.

Photo Courtesy of BOC

Customs authorities cautioned from burning confiscated cosmetics containing mercury

Quezon City.  Non-government organizations have cautioned the customs authorities from burning confiscated skin whitening products tainted with mercury to reduce the harm of mercury pollution to human health and the environment. 

Environmental group EcoWaste Coalition on Tuesday urged the Department of Education to screen the schools’ facilities for lead paint hazard which can affect the children’s developing brains and behavior while they are closed due to the COVID-19 scare.
Groups pursue ban on waste trade as the first anniversary of the re-exportation of Canadian garbage dumped in the Philippines on May 31 nears

Quezon City, Philippines.  Civil society groups marked the first anniversary of the repatriation of 69 container vans of rotting Canadian garbage to their source with a resounding plea for decisive policy actions to prevent its recurrence and to defend environmental justice and the rule of law.

Newly-issued DOH policy banning dental amalgam draws cheers amid the coronavirus crisis

(Quezon City) A new policy promulgated by the Department of Health (DOH) phasing out dental amalgam, a tooth filling material containing approximately 50% mercury, has received roars of approval from advocacy groups within and outside the Philippines.

EcoWaste Coalition and Greenpeace Philippines have released a new report "Waste Trade in the Philippines: How Local and Global Policy Instruments Can Stop the Tide of Foreign Waste Dumping in the Country". The report investigates the laws, the policies, and the shortfalls that have allowed illegal waste into the Philippines and also "legal" waste for which the country lacks an infrastructure capable of protecting the health of people and the environment.

https://www.bbc.com/bengali/news-51282897?SThisFB&fbclid=IwAR2ToKmBAxpwg...

বাংলাদেশের রাজধানী ঢাকা সিটি কর্পোরেশন নির্বাচনে প্রচারণার জন্য প্রথম বারো দিনে প্রায় ২৫০০ টন প্লাস্টিক বর্জ্য উৎপন্ন হয়েছে।

প্রতিযোগী প্রার্থীরা তাদের পোস্টার, লিফলেট এবং কর্মীদের পরিচয়পত্রের জন্য এসব প্লাস্টিক ব্যবহার করেছেন।

Jakarta, Indonesia – More than 60 people from government, industry, and civil society participated today in a workshop launching a project aimed at eliminating lead in paint in Indonesia. This initiative is part of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) project on global best practices for phasing out lead paint funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1840279/activists-decry-plastic-ban...

Bangkok Post

Increase in waste imports from China may mean no net decrease from government plan

The recent ban on single-use plastic bags at major retailers created a stir for consumers and businesses, with social media abuzz with workarounds such as shoppers using wheelbarrows and stockings to carry off their 7-Eleven hauls.

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