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A Toxics-Free Future


Chemicals in Products

A Study of Mercury Contamination in Face Whitening Products in Thailand

To examine the level of mercury contamination in face whitening products on the Thai market and to increase awareness among consumers about the danger of mercury and the importance of eliminating mercury from products, Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand (EARTH) conducted sampling and an awareness-raising campaign. Results of the sampling confirmed that 20% of all face whitening products studied were contaminated with mercury, although limitations in the testing process indicate this could be higher.

Survey of bisphenol a in Russian foods

The Chapaevsk Medical Association tested 21 food samples from three Russian cities for levels of BPA, determining that 81% of the samples were contaminated. Canned infant food was found to have some of the highest levels of contamination. Results were shared at several seminars and workshops with physicians, chemists, government officials, industry leaders, and other NGOs.

Mercury- Establishing framework for “Mercury free healthcare in Nigeria”: Campaign for Alternatives to Mercury in the Health Care Sector in Lagos State, Nigeria.

Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development (SRADev) surveyed and interviewed employees of three Lagos area hospitals to document how mercury-containing devices are handled and disposed of. Questions were also asked about employee’s opinions concerning the transition of non-mercury-containing thermometers. Results of the surveying were then shared with relevant stakeholders at a day-long workshop at which potential policy and regulation changes concerning mercury use in hospital devices were discussed.

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.

Tóxicos en el Hogar 2 (Toxic Chemicals at Home)

To achieve the objectives of preventing health and environmental pollution related to chemicals found in products, promote safer alternatives, and generate a collaborative effort, Fronteras Comunes followed up the successful “Toxic Chemicals at Home” booklet with a second installation: “Toxic Chemicals at Home 2". The booklet is now being used in community workshops as a tool to promote awareness about heavy metals in products, hazardous pesticides, electronic waste, and other POPs.

Civil Society Participation in CONASQ – National Commission on Chemical Safety

In an effort to improve participation and collaboration among organizations and individuals concerning the SAICM Global Plan of Action, Associação de Proteção ao Meio Ambiente de Cianorte (APROMAC) pushed an explicit chemical implementation agenda at three consecutive meetings of Brazil's National Committee on Chemical Safety (CONSAQ). Additionally, they created a special webpage on their website focused solely on SAICM, which also provides monthly bulletins on SAICM issues.

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.