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A Toxics-Free Future


Awareness-raising and Education

Awareness among legislators, rural workers, and the general public on phase-out of highly hazardous pesticides

Alianza por una Mejor Calidad de Vida organized a series of workshops and staged a media campaign with a national TV network to create public awareness about the dangers of pesticides in food. This included developing brochures tailored to the communities most affected by the use hazardous pesticides. An expose of pesticide poisoning cases of rural and seasonal female workers was also shared with the public. In addition, they worked closely with a prominent member of the National Congress to introduce legislation that would phase out the most hazardous and highly toxic pesticides.

Waste Incineration Residues, a Significant Source of POPs in the Czech Republic

In an effort to create public awareness about illegal waste incineration in the Czech Republic as well as the larger issue of waste incineration residues in general, Arnika conducted several activities. The first involved sampling for PCB, dioxins, and PAH residues at a waste site and making the results public through mass media. Subsequently, a workshop on POPs wastes and waste incineration was organized for Czech NGOs, with 22 participants. A joint declaration from the workshop was created, as well as the formation of a new network.

Vrbovec Waste Project

Using waste management best practices modelled after those in the EU, Zelena akcija developed and implemented a pilot waste management program with a variety of activities involving local community organizations, government officials, and public citizens.

Country Level Assessment for Mercury in Uganda

PROBICOU conducted the first ever situational assessment of mercury in Uganda. The study aimed to provide information to the Ugandan government so that the government could be helped to legislate a relevant policy on mercury. The study involved many activities, including document review, and site visits at mining communities, health care institutions, government departments, and waste dumping sites. A critical part of this project involved a sensitization workshop organized for traders in Kampala with the goals of obtaining first hand community views on the effects of mercury exposure.

Information booklet on POPs for greater community participation in the issues in India

In 2011, the government of India submitted its National Implementation Plan (NIP) for persistent organic pollutants. Toxics Link, in an effort to bring a better understanding of this to interested stakeholders, prepared an easy-to-use and understand informational sheet that explains how the NIP is related to current issues on dioxin, furans and DDT use, as well as how the NIP is aligned with the Stockholm Convention.

Phasing out Lead in Paint through Advocacy and Awareness Raising

Using analyses of paint samples from manufacturing and importing companies servicing the Amman marketplace, Land and Human to Advocate Progress (LHAP) was able to create awareness about high levels of lead in paints found in everyday paints. Along with educational materials produced specifically with the results of the analyses, community discussion groups (3 public hearings) were conducted to further communicate the impact of lead in paint. Social media was also used to achieve widespread media and public notice.

Awareness Raising on E-Waste Management in Ethiopia

Pesticide Action Nexus (PAN)-Ethiopia pioneered an initial assessment of Ethiopia's E-waste situation and began a national conversation with leading Ethiopian stakeholders about the future of e-waste management. Project activities included an initial month long assessment, a national stakeholder workshop with various community and government officials, and a follow up visit to the country's only existing refurbishment center.

Disseminating information on chemicals in Macedonia

In 2010, Eco-Sense conducted a chemical assessment of 30 cosmetic and 30 household products found in local markets. The research resulted in a comprehensive list of chemicals present in these products, the risks linked to the chemicals found, and suggestions for chemical-free products that could be used by consumers as an alternative. In addition to a detailed report, colorful shopping guides with a picture of the product and a list of warning signs for consumers to use when choosing products were produced.

Heavy metals assessment of some plastic toys in Bizerte (Tunisia)

To determine whether toys sold in Tunisia contain high levels of dangerous heavy metals, Association pour la Protection de l'Environnement et Developpement Durable de Bizerte (APEDDUB) had samples of 24 toys commonly found in schools and markets in the city of Bizarte analyzed. Results showed that most toys contained heavy metals. In addition, although both non-Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) and PVC made toys contained high levels of lead and cadmium, toys made with PVC have significantly higher levels of these heavy metals and therefore are far more toxic.

Mercury: Byproduct and Source of Contamination of Large-Scale Gold and Silver Mining

Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales (OLCA) conducted a literature review and community based research in order to produce a report detailing the contamination and pollution coming from two open pit gold and silver mines in Chile. Among other results, OLCA found that both these mines use a very toxic process (cyanide) for extracting these metals, which has been found to leech mercury and cyanide into the environment. Additionally, workers at these mines were found to have symptoms consistent with mercury poisoning.