Campaign partner Vivosano with the Fund for protecting Environmental Health (Fonda para la Defensa de la Salud Ambiental) call for national plans to reduce the use and exposure of pesticides in Spain and achieve laws to protect people’s health and the environment.
In a new report the two organisations propose the establishment of legal reduction targets for pesticide use in Spain to protect human health, nature and the future of agriculture. By 2020, Spain should reduce its use of pesticides by at least 30 percent from current levels.
The report provides a basis for authorities and urge policies to promote the drafting of specific plans to achieve a significant reduction in the amount of pesticides that are consumed in Spain, mainly in the agricultural sector, by specific quantitative and testable targets.
Campaign partner Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) highlight a recent report released by the Dutch Health Council on prenatal exposure to chemical substances.
The report underscores the urgent need for immediate action to protect pregnant women and their unborn children from the detrimental effects of prenatal exposure to harmful chemicals, including Bisphenol A (BPA).
The Dutch government should do more to trace the harmful impacts of these substances, especially during pregnancy. Chemical substances can affect the development of the immune system, endocrine system and nervous system of the foetus with lifelong impacts.
For the summary (in English) of the Report of the Dutch Health Council you can click here.
The WECF press release (in Dutch) can be found here.
Campaign secretariat HEAL recently re-launched its Chemicals Health Monitor (CHM), a revived online service consisting of a revamped website and newsletter as well as new social media tools, all available in English and German.
HEAL’s ultimate goal in providing such a service is to improve public health by promoting support for more protective regulation of hazardous chemicals in Europe and beyond. The project encourages public health and health professional groups to use and share educational resources to inform patients and the public.
What you can do
Find out about how different health problems may be linked to chemical exposure by exploring the re-vamped website – in English or German
Sign up to the CHM newsletter and encourage others to join via the homepage on the websites
In 2011, campaign partner Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN-E) started a complaint to the EU Ombudsman on the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Working Group on the threshold of toxicological concern (TTC), a statistical approach for risk assessment substituting safety testing.
PAN Europe concluded that EFSA failed to protect the interest of the public and promoted the interests of industry as 10 out of 13 members had been involved in promoting TTC in the past with many links to industry.
The EU Ombudsman concluded that this was a case of maladministration. EFSA failed to start a thorough investigation after the publication of the report by PAN Europe as well as failing to reply to PAN Europe at all. EFSA only presented its views after the opening of the inquiry of the Ombudsman, but still then it did not address the issues in a thorough and specific manner and limited itself to some general observations.
Read more about PAN’s complaint and a second allegation here
This week a spanish medical journal Diario Médico published a report on EDCs and a letter sent by the Spanish Society of Public Health and Health Administration (SESPAS) to the Spanish government.
Diario Médico is sent daily by email to around 42.700 health care professionals and, in its paper version, is distributed weekly in health care centres, hospitals, health administrations and industry, etc. all over Spain. This is great news for the EDC-Free campaign.
Campaign partner Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) recently higlighted the need to have full disclosure of ingredients (as with cosmetics) for toys, as well as stricter laws that apply the precautionary principle, with zero tolerance for harmful chemicals.
Parents are more and more concerned about not knowing which harmful substances are found in toys, and that policy makers and industry are not doing enough to protect their children’s health.
The new chemical requirements of the EU toy safety Directive have been in force since July 2013 giving the EU the chance to really protect children from hazardous chemicals when the Directive was reviewed in 2009. However, they only went half way.
Toys are part of children’s daily life and therefore they should by safe. As children have developing organs, rapid metabolisms, thinner skin and immature immune systems, as well as specific behaviours, they are more vulnerable than adults to chemicals of concern. Banning harmful substances from toys is necessary to protect children from possible long-term and irreversible health effects.
The revised chemical requirements of the Directive are a slight improvement from the previous version when it comes to the use of carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic substances (CMRs). But unfortunately, the new Directive does not ban them from toys.
The Directive lags behind technical feasibility and existing EU rules on CMRs in other sectoral regulations, such as those covering food contact materials. It is still too weak and needs to be strengthened by banning all CMRs from use in toys. Children should not be exposed to such substances when playing with toys.
Brussels, 27 February 2014 – The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) has joined French member NGOs, Générations Futures (GF) and Réseau Environnement Santé (RES) in welcoming a report from the French parliament’s Committee on European Affairs which focuses on the European Strategy on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs). The report’s findings call on the French government and EU to react urgently on EDCs.
GF and RES have welcomed the report and particularly the work of rapporteur, French MP Jean-Louis Roumégas, who presented the report’s findings to a press conference at the National Assembly in Paris on Wednesday, 26 February. The two associations have singled out a number of points.
There are increasingly more and more cases of cancer, infertility, allergies. But did you know that behind this all may be detergents, creams and shower gels you use, the water you drink or the salad you eat? The film “In Small-Print” (La letra pequeña) by campaign partner Vivosano explains how some chemical substances can have an impact on our health by altering our hormonal system .These substances are technically called endocrine disruptors.
In Small Print was shown at this year’s International festival of environmental films (FIFE) in Paris, which was a great success. The film screening was followed by an interesting debate on what we should be doing about the presence of toxic chemicals in everyday life. The session brought together scientists and specialists. Panelists included Genon K. Jensen (HEAL), Dr. Nicola Olea, University of Grenada (Université de Grenade), and Nadia Bennich, film director of ‘In Small Print’ .