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.
Jackets and other clothing from thirteen countries contain toxic chemicals linked to cancer, infertility and other serious health conditions
Tuesday, 28 November 2023
A study released today by Arnika, IPEN and 13 IPEN member groups and partners found toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals, including globally banned substances in outdoor jackets and clothing purchased from thirteen countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. Most of the outdoor jackets were marketed for children and many of the products come into direct contact with skin. PFAS, called “Forever Chemicals” due to their extreme persistence in the environment, are used in clothing and other products to confer stain- and water-resistance. But the study also found jackets and clothing made without PFAS, demonstrating that safer alternatives to the toxic substances are available.
For this study, jackets and other clothing sold as water- or stain-resistant were purchased from 13 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. Most of the jackets tested were marketed for children. Countries included were Germany, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom, Serbia, Montenegro, Kenya, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the U.S.
Over the past few decades, the massive production of plastics worldwide has posed a real threat to the existence and well-being of all living creatures. This virtually uncontrollable rise in the use of plastics is a matter of serious concern to health professionals, environmentalists and biodiversity advocates. In Cameroon, the issue is just as pressing, and requires special attention from all stakeholders.
Geneva, Switzerland – IPEN advocates from around the world at the Fifth Conference of the Parties (COP5) of the Minamata Convention on Mercury note that the outcomes this week have been a mix of disappointing decisions with positive progress on some issues. Among the items where the COP5 fell short was in adopting a weak standard for mercury in waste and allowing blanket exemptions even for this weak standard that could result in undeclared shipments of toxic mercury-tainted waste being exported from wealthy regions to low- and middle-income countries.