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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

Monitoring

IPEN and BAN call for stronger controls in upcoming Conference to the Parties of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions

(Göteborg, Sweden): New research from IPEN and Basel Action Network (BAN) reveals dire human exposures and food chain contamination from highly toxic plastics in waste in Ghana that includes toxic e-waste shipped from Europe. Researchers have found the highest levels of brominated and chlorinated dioxins— some of the most hazardous chemicals on Earth— ever measured­­­­ in free-range chicken eggs in Agbogbloshie, Ghana. The contamination results primarily from the breaking apart of discarded electronics (e-waste) and burning plastics to recover metals. Plastics from vehicle upholstery are also burned on the site and contribute to the contamination.

Researchers analyzed the eggs of free-range chickens that forage in the Agbogbloshie slum, home to an estimated 80,000 people who subsist primarily by retrieving and selling copper cable and other metals from e-waste. The process of smashing and burning the plastic casing and cables, to extract the metals, releases dangerous chemicals found within the plastics, such as brominated flame retardants, and creates highly toxic by-product chemicals like brominated and chlorinated dioxins and furans. The sampling of eggs revealed alarmingly high levels of some of the most hazardous and banned chemicals in the world, including dioxins, brominated dioxins, PCBs, PBDE and SCCPs.

ACAT Environmental Health and Justice Course Supports Communities

This summer, IPEN Participating Organization Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) held an Environmental Health and Justice Course at their Community-Based Research Institute on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. Residents of Gambell and Savoonga were invited to attend. The goals of the course were to prevent harmful exposure in communities, empower residents to do their own local research and advocate for policy changes, and promote collaboration together in communitites and with other organizations and communities.

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