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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

marine litter

Environmental Health News

https://www.ehn.org/plastic-pollution-and-human-health-2629322391.html

"Every stage of the plastic lifecycle poses significant risks to human health, and the majority of people worldwide are exposed to plastic at multiple stages of this lifecycle."

Press Release / Full Report / Executive Summary

Washington, DC—A new report released today reveals that plastic is a human health crisis hiding in plain sight. Plastic & Health: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet, authored by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Earthworks, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF), IPEN, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (t.e.j.a.s.), University of Exeter, and UPSTREAM, brings together research that exposes the distinct toxic risks plastic poses to human health at every stage of the plastic lifecycle, from extraction of fossil fuels, to consumer use, to disposal and beyond.

To date, research into the human health impacts of plastic have focused narrowly on specific moments in the plastic lifecycle, often on single products, processes, or exposure pathways. This approach fails to recognize that significant, complex, and intersecting human health impacts occur at every stage of the plastic lifecycle: from wellhead to refinery, from store shelves to human bodies, and from waste management to ongoing impacts of microplastics in the air, water, and soil. Plastic & Health presents the full panorama of human health impacts of plastic and counsels that any solution to the plastic crisis must address the full lifecycle.

According to the report, uncertainties and knowledge gaps often impede regulation and the ability of consumers, communities, and policymakers to make informed decisions. However, the full scale of health impacts throughout plastic’s lifecycle are overwhelming and warrant a precautionary approach. 

Marine pollutants are impacting the health of our oceans, their inhabitants and those dependent on oceans for food, culture and their very survival. Everyday an ever-increasing cocktail of intentional and unintentional chemical releases, as well as an unrelenting tidal wave of wastes, particularly plastic waste, enters our waterways and the marine environment. This toxic threat endangers human health, marine life and the environment.

IPEN is pleased announce the release of the Ocean Pollutants Guide, as an initial step to raise awareness and bridge information gaps between ocean health, chemical safety, and emerging policy opportunities for action.

IPEN Steering Committee Member Imogen Ingram from the Island Sustainability Alliance Cook Islands (ISACI) has co-authored an important paper about marine litter plastics and their toxic chemical components that has been published in Environmental Sciences Europe.

Pasay City/Quezon City.  A visiting expert from US today drew attention to the emerging concerns around the environmental impacts of microplastics in cosmetics at the ongoing beauty trade show in Pasay City.

Non-government organizations in Southeast Asia have joined forces to curb a preventable source of plastic pollution of the marine environment: microparticles of plastic, or microplastics, in cosmetics.

Through an online petition at Avaaz, the groups are urging the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a huge market of over 500 million consumers, to prohibit microplastics in the production of personal care and cosmetic products (PCCPs).

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