In 1995, a group of female journalists working in the first environmental newspaper in Kazakhstan established Greenwomen as the country's first ecological analytical non-profit agency focusing on environmental health and justice. I have been leading the organization since then.
Study finds plastic toys from 10 countries have high levels of toxic chlorinated paraffins
Saturday, 21 October 2023
High levels of chemicals in several toys could qualify them as hazardous waste
A study released today by IPEN and its members from ten countries reveals that shockingly high levels of the toxic chemicals chlorinated paraffins are common in children’s plastic toys. All thirty-one toys tested for the study were found to contain the harmful chemicals, which are linked to cancer, damage to developing brains, endocrine disruption, damage to the liver and kidneys, and threats to reproductive health.
The toys were purchased in Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Malaysia, Mali, Philippines, Uganda, and USA. All toys tested contained both short- and medium-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs and MCCPs), even though SCCPs were banned globally under the Stockholm Convention in 2017. MCCPs are currently under evaluation for a potential global ban and evidence shows they are equally harmful and warrant the same action. Several toys contained levels of SCCPs above the current proposals to limit amounts of the chemical in hazardous waste, meaning the toys could be considered hazardous waste under health-protective guidelines.
“We were very disturbed to find that our children’s toys contain these highly toxic chemicals. Many plastics contain toxic chemicals, and our study shows these chemicals can make their way into our homes in products our children and families use,” said Mme. Kouyaté Goundo Sissoko from ONG Appui pour la Valorisation et la Promotion des Initiatives Privées (ONG AVPIP] in Mali. “Industry must end their use of toxic chemicals in plastics. Our children deserve safe toys.”
The Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Review Committee (POPRC) is a subsidiary body to the Stockholm Convention established for reviewing chemicals proposed for global regulation. The 19th meeting of POPRC will convene in Rome this October 9-13.
On 28 September, 2023, 17 members of IPEN’s Women’s Caucus joined together in Bonn, Germany, during the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), Fifth Meeting of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5). The meeting was facilitated by IPEN Women Caucus co-chair Olga Speranskaya.
Empowering women in the fight to eliminate toxic chemicals
Thursday, 14 September 2023
By Yuyun Ismawati
In 2019, during the week of the 78th independence of Indonesia, in mid-August the media covered various stories about the worst air pollution in the capital, Jakarta. The authorities tried to answer the questions with empty promises and mismatched solutions.
6 September 2023, Quezon City. As part of its continuing advocacy towards a zero waste and toxics-free society, the environmental watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition organized a seminar on September 5 focusing on ubiquitous synthetic chemicals that mimic, block or alter natural hormones and cause adverse health effects, especially to developing fetuses and children.
Analysis of chlorpyrifos production and use in Russia has shown widespread use of highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs), including Chlorpyrifos, Bifenthrin and Cypermethrin. These substances are on the list of HHPs prepared by the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) and meet the HHP criteria adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Kazakhstan does not produce chlorpyrifos but buys it as an active ingredient to make pesticide products for local use. IPEN member Greenwomen in the Republic of Kazakhstan found information showing that Astana Nan, the largest pesticide production plant in the country, purchases chlorpyrifos as an ingredient from China to use for manufacturing local pesticide products. There are also a number of small local enterprises in Kazakhstan that manufacture ready-made pesticide products containing chlorpyrifos.
Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate pesticide that has been used since 1970 and non-officially licensed for distribution since 1970 in Indonesia. It is used in agriculture, plantations, household, hygiene and sanitation. Chlorpyrifos is widely used similar to other types of pesticides permitted for circulation and trade in the country. In 2021, the Pesticide Commission of the Indonesia Ministry of Agriculture allowed sixty (60) trademarks for use in agriculture and other sectors. This number continues to increase from 8 brand names (1998) to 60 brands (2021).
Agriculture in India was traditionally non-mechanised and organic, that is, conducted without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. These traditional practices persisted in most of India through the 1950s and for much of the 1960s, until the introduction of high yield varieties, popularly known as the Green Revolution. However, the introduction of high yield varieties resulted in the paramount increase in the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The total pesticide consumption in India grew nearly tenfold in the two decades between 1958 and 1978.