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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

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Heavy Metals

To promote management at the regional level to prevent mercury pollution of the Volga river and Caspian coastal area

Volgograd Ecopress conducted a campaign to promote a regional management system designed to address a growing threat of mercury containing waste (light bulbs, medical equipment, etc.) contaminating the Volga River and Caspian coastal area. Consultations were first held with environmental authorities in the region to assess the existing challenges in handling the mercury containing waste.

Childrens’ Neurotoxicity in communities exposed to cement and other industries in Apaxco-Atotonilco

Centro de Diagnostico y Alternativas para Afectados por Tóxicos (CEDAAT) conducted research and public awareness activities to help communities in their demands against pollution coming from the ECOLTEC plant (a waste facility that produced fuel for cement kilns) in Mexico. ECOLTEC declared in an Environmental Impact Assessment that they would produce Volatile Organic Compounds, and the standard for cement kilns includes a series of dangerous heavy metals.

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.

Mobilizing People on Arsenic Poisoning due to Illegal Pesticides Use in Sri Lanka

In collaboration with medical officials, Center for Environmental Justice (CEJ) organized medical clinics to pre-screen agricultural workers at risk for kidney disease resulting from exposure to arsenic in pesticides. In several of these clinics (as well as outside of the clinics), CEJ conducted small discussion groups at which farmers were given brochures highlighting the dangers of illegal and highly dangerous pesticides and notifying them of their rights.

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.

Strengthening Community Participation for Safety against Chemical Pollution

Following two separate pollution incidents by the Cleanway Technology Corporation in 2009, Cavite Green Coalition community organizers staged a series of activities to create awareness in the community and push for a closing down of the plant. This included an initial chemical safety seminar in the community that spurred a letter writing campaign to local government agencies and key officials. Mass mobilizations and picket lines outside the company followed this action and were successful in temporarily closing the plant.

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.

Awareness and Learning Initiative of E-waste Hazard in Bangladesh

ESDO conducted a series of surveys with importers, retailers, repairers, and consumers to assess the amount of E-waste being generated by television, computers, mobile phones, CFL bulbs, and medical/dental wastes. The survey showed the production of E-waste from the electronic sector is increasing exponentially in Bangladesh, even though nearly all E-waste is manufactured abroad and imported. From this information, ESDO published an educational booklet on E-waste that was shared with the public, and developed an E-waste website with key information.

Addressing Lead Poisoning Exposure Problem in Ownio Uhuru Slums- Mombasa (Part II)

To ensure that the residents of the Owinu Uhuru slum (Kenya) could protect themselves from dangerous smoke emitted from a local lead metal recovery factory, Eco-Ethics conducted an all encompassing campaign that included sample collection, awareness raising, community organizing, and mobilizing direct action. With the results of sampling showing high levels of lead contamination in blood, air, soil, and water, the community was mobilized to demand action from the factory officials concerning lead poisoning.

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