Category Archives: News

What’s in your strawberries?

Testing of French and Spanish strawberries showed that 70% of fruits contained pesticides which are EDCs, and two samples even contained a banned pesticide. These results underline the need for an ambitious policy on endocrine disruptors.

strawberries

Campaign partners Générations Futures and Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN-E) conducted an investigation into strawberries sold in France, originating from the country or from Spain. Out of 49 samples analysed, 91.83% contained one or more pesticide residues and in total, 71.42% of the samples contained pesticides that are EDCs.

Two out of the 26 French samples (i.e. 7.69%) contained endosulfan, an organochlorine insecticide banned in Europe since 2005 and on the list of Persistent Organic Pollutants to be eliminated globally under the Stockholm Convention, convention implemented under the authority of the UN. This analysis is part of an investigation called “EXPERT 2” on banned pesticides and EDCs.

The findings show the ubiquity of many endocrine disrupting pesticides found in our environment leading to a significant exposure of the population. These substances potentially threaten unborn and young children even at low doses. Strawberries are a popular source of fruit, necessary for a healthy diet, and frequently consumed by pregnant women and children, thus preventing exposure should be a priority.

The two organisations are urging policy makers to take immediate and strong measures to reduce human exposure to pesticides and EDCs.

Campaign partner Vivo Sano cooperated with Générations Futures and PAN Europe on the Spanish part of the research. Vivo Sano has sent a complaint to the Consejería de Medio Ambiente de la Junta de Andalucía (Regional environment ministry of Andalucia), and the Ministry of Health.

Full report in French by Generations Futures
Information in Spanish by Vivo Sano: Press release and ArticleVivosano has also promoted it here http://www.vivosano.org/es_ES/Proyectos/Pesticidasyperturbadoresendocrinosenfresas.aspx

 

Post provided by the Campaign Secretariat HEAL

27 French not for profit organisations called on France to maintain its leadership on EDCs

On 19 June, 27 not-for-profit organisations in France declared the start of their mass mobilisation to coincide with the fifth and final meeting of the stakeholders in the National Strategy on Endocrine Disruptors (SNPE) in France.

The groups published a manifesto and public petition calling on the French government to adopt an ambitious strategy to reduce exposure of populations and ecosystems to EDCs. The signatories comprise a diverse coalition of French civil society groups, including environmental groups, health insurance bodies, patients groups, consumers, unions and women’s groups.

Progress in negotiations within the National Strategy on Endocrine Disruptors (SNPE) in France appears to be stalling or even receding, according to the press release to launch the campaign. Implementation of the labelling requirement from the existing law on bisphenol A in food packaging does not seem to be taking place, and the anticipated measures on phthalates, which was promised by the environment minister Delphine Batho, has not happened.

In recent months, two important statements from scientific experts have urged action on EDCs to protect public health. In May, the world’s leading experts published the Berlaymont Declaration, which pointed to the high or increasing levels of endocrine-related conditions in Europe. (4) This month, 180 leading scientists at the Collegium Ramazzini published their statement urging action on EDCs. Equally or more important was the publication of the recent joint report by the WHO and UNEP on EDCs.  Although the WHO is traditionally cautious on scientific issues in which there is controversy, it has deemed EDCs a global threat which need to be resolved.

The manifesto is available here
The public petitions are available here

 

Post provided by the Campaign Secretariat HEAL and Campaign Partner Réseau Environnement Santé

Together against EDCs: Sign the petition now!

bodyA broad coalition of 27 not-for-profit organisations in France are calling on the French government to adopt an ambitious strategy to reduce exposure of populations and ecosystems to endocrine disruptors.

The signatories comprise a diverse coalition of French civil society groups, including environmental groups, health insurance bodies, patients groups, consumers, unions and women’s groups.

The public petition, backed by a manifesto, reaffirms the need to act quickly and consistently on EDCs.

Sign the petition here

View the manifesto here

Sign the petition: Phase out hazardous chemicals in medical devices

HCWH petitionHealth Care Without Harm Europe (HCWH) has launched a petition demanding the European Parliament to phase our the use of hazardous chemicals in medical devices.

Now is the time to act! The Parliament, Commission and Council of the EU are currently revising the legislation for medical devices and they need to know that we care about our health and that of our families.

HCWH Europe is demanding EU decision makers to put in place mechanisms to move towards a toxic-free European healthcare system.

Sign the petition now to show your support!

Chemicals in children’s food

The International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) recently launched a statement on the presence of toxic substances and chemical residues in food. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of exposure to chemicals as they are at the most sensitive stages of human development.

Parents, carers and health professionals are rightly worried about the problems in infant and young child feeding in a contaminated world, and the statement contains independent information on the risks and dangers of this form of environmental pollution.

IBFAN urgently calls upon decision makers in industry and politics to adopt environmentally-friendly initiatives in production and waste-disposal, to promote awareness of ecological dangers, and to create the appropriate legal framework to prevent the harmful contamination of our environment and to protect the health of our children, both present and future generations.

Read the 2013 Statement on Infant and Young Child Feeding and Chemical Residues here

Post provided by Campaign Secretariat HEAL

 

89 scientists call for EU action on EDCs

On 24 May a group of the world’s leading scientific experts on endocrine disrupting chemicals made the strongest ever call for regulatory action on endocrine disrupting chemicals with the launch of “The 2013 Berlaymont Declaration on Endocrine Disrupters”.

The Declaration makes an urgent plea to the EU Commission “to implement regulatory measures that are in line with the best available science”. It says that “scientific uncertainty should not delay regulatory action and commercial interests must not take precedent over concerns about risks associated with endocrine disruptors”.

 The 89 signatories to the Declaration point to alarming signs of a growing public health burden in Europe. The prevalence of endocrine-related diseases is higher than it has ever been and that this disease burden continues to increase in the EU and globally.

Download the 2013 Berlaymont Declaration on Endocrine Disrupters signatories here

Read HEAL’s response to the Berlaymont Declaration here

Post provided by campaign secretariat HEAL

Hazardous chemicals in medical devices in Bisphenol A and Phthalates

Campaign partner Health Care without Harm (HCWH) has recently published two fact sheets on hazardous chemicals in medical devices.

The first factsheet focuses on Bisphenol A in medical devices which has been shown to leach from medical devices containing PVC. BPA is left behind after the manufacturing process and from dental sealants in normal conditions of use. It is of paramount importance to avoid all possible sources of exposure to BPA, given the extensive presence of it in the environment. This factsheet highlights some examples of BPA applications in medical devices and steps to move towards PVC free healthcare.   Read the factsheet here

The second factsheet focuses on phthalates in medical devices which area group of chemical substances, primarily used as plasticisers (softeners) in plastics. They are abundant in PVC based medical devices such as blood bags, tubing, catheters and disposable gloves, where they can account to up to 40% of the final product. The factsheet highlights the risks from phthalates and the fact they can easily be released, transferred or leached into the air, water or body fluids during their production, use and discard as they are not chemically bound to plastic materials. Read the factsheet here

Post provided by campaign partner HCWH

New CHEM Trust papers out now!

CHEM Trust Briefing on the REACH review of EDCs, May 2013
The EU chemical legislation REACH mandates the EU Commission to review, before June 2013, whether a threshold or non-threshold approach to industrial chemicals with endocrine disrupting (ED) properties should be adopted within the REACH authorization procedure. In CHEM Trust’s EDCs should be treated as non-threshold substances equivalent to chemicals with PBT/vPvBa properties and this briefing explains why. Read the briefing here

 CHEM Trust critique of the UK Government Position on EDCs, May 2013
This briefing outlines CHEM Trust’s comments on the UK’s view on the issue of whether or not a threshold can be determined for endocrine disruptors identified as Substances of Very High Concern under REACH.  CHEM Trust does not agree with the UK Government’s position. Read the briefing here

CHEM Trust & HEAL’s briefing on the report of the Endocrine Disruptor Expert Advisory Group (ED EAG)
This briefing covers many important issues including potency, the linking of endocrine activity with adverse effects and tests for EDCs. Read the briefing here

CHEM Trust’s critique of the EFSA Opinion on EDCs, March 2013 Whilst there is much in the report that CHEM Trust can agree with, we disagree with the synthesis of the report which fails to conclude that current science highlights the need for urgent regulatory action and also fails to highlight that existing legislation (eg for pesticides) and the uncertainties in the risk assessment of EDCs mean that a hazard based approach should be adopted. Read the briefing here

 Post provided by campaign partner CHEM Trust