Category Archives: News

Global community agrees to phase out toxic flame retardant

Campaign partner Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) is glad to announce that the highly toxic flame retardant HBCD will be phased out globally! On 10 May, at the 6th Conference of Parties of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in Geneva, the global community agreed to phase out Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) – a highly toxic brominated flame retardant widely used in building insulation, upholstery and electronics in the EU, despite severe adverse effects on the development of the nervous system and mental abilities of children.

This chemical has become the 23rd substance to be globally banned under the Stockholm Convention and is an important step towards a toxic free future. Yet, although many countries proposed this global ban without any exemption, the EU fought to obtain an exemption for its production and use in insulation material and an authorization to recycle products containing the substance until 2024, in contravention of the text of the Convention and EU implementing legislation, which clearly forbids the recycling of persistent organic pollutants.

Read WECF´s full press release here


Post provided by campaign partner WECF

WECF presses on banning BPA in children toys during EU discussions

Campaign partner Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) presses for a complete ban on BPA and other chemicals in children toys instead of limiting thier use in products as planned by the EU Commission. 

Exposure to BPA, which has low dose effects especially in children, can alter the sensitive hormonal balance in developing bodies and can cause long-standing negative health effects. Therefore, it should be banned, instead of limited.

The same counts for other substances which can be found in consumer products and toys, such as lead and nickel. Since the early 1990s, it has been known that low levels of lead in blood can have adverse health effects, and it has not been possible to establish a threshold for lead toxicity.

More information available here

Post provided by campaign partner WECF

New report highlights link between Bisphenol A and breast cancer

body of evidenceA new report published on 14 May by campaign partner Breast Cancer UK   provides an overview of the low dose effects of Bisphenol A in relation to breast cancer.

The report entitled Body of Evidence draws together some of the latest science on BPA and highlights how much evidence there is that this chemical affects the structure and development of the mammary gland, increases breast density, and disrupts DNA. All of these factors are known to increase the risk of developing breast cancer.

Read the full report here

Post provided by campaign partner Breast Cancer UK



Joint NGO letter to President Barroso and Commissioners: Call to reduce our exposure to EDCs

On 7 May a group of environmental, occupation/workers, and health organisations expressed their concerns about a matter of urgency for the health of EU citizens and wildlife to President Barroso.

The Commission will soon be taking key decisions on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs), which the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have called a global threat that needs to be resolved.

Read the full letter here

Post provided by Campaign Secretariat HEAL

Scientists urge UN to take action on chemicals in consumer products and pesticides

On 23 April the Endocrine Society and IPEN called on the UN to take action to prevent harm from a wide range of synthetic chemicals in consumer products and pesticides.  These play a role in increased incidences of reproductive diseases, cancer, obesity and type 2 diabetes across the world.

A letter, addressed to the WHO, UNEP and OECD, set out the scientific principles on which future EDC work should be based, offers the Endocrine Society as a partner for this work and urges a work plan to be published.

The letter was signed by scientists from around the world, who were involved in the WHO/UNEP report on the State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals.

Download the letter here
Download the press release here


Post provided by Campaign Secretariat HEAL

French consumer group highlights EDCs in cosmetics

cosmeticsFrench consumer watchdog Que Choisir recently published a report highlighting the existence of EDCs in cosmetics.

The report suggests, for example, that the level of triclosan in certain toothpastes could be considered “too high in particular when combined with a deodorant also containing triclosan” and could pose a “significant level of risk” for the user. Triclosan is currently being evaluated by the EU under the first Community Rolling Action Plan (Corap) (CW 29 February 2012).

The report also highlights certain products containing levels of parabens higher than those recommended by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS).

Report available here in French

Post provided by Campaign Secretariat HEAL



Endocrine disrupter BHA common ingredient in chewing gum in Denmark

The Danish Consumer Council celebrated International Consumer Day on 15 March by focusing on EDCs in food, especially the antioxidant BHA found in chewing gum. BHA and E320 are allowed not only in chewing gum but also in other food including soup, sauces, dried meat, and oils.

BHA was found in 13 different packs of chewing gum all from the brand Mentos. 24 packs of gum without BHA were also found in the Danish shops.

The company behind Mentos said they will continue to use BHA as it is still a legal substance and EFSA and the FDA have approved its use. This is not good enough according to the Danish Consumer Council, who reiterate the demand for a ban on EDCs in consumer goods (especially if there are alternatives) and in this case there are.

The Danish Consumer Council argues that the EFSA opinion does not take into account cocktail effects and call for the use of the precautionary principle over the interest of industry.

BHA is on the EU list of potential endocrine disrupters cat 1, listed as a carcinogen in California and last year the Danish Centre on Endocrine Disrupters used the Danish EPA’s criteria to establish BHA as an endocrine disruptor. BHA is also used in cosmetics, which the exposure scenario also does not take into account.

Post provided by Campaign supporter Danish Consumer Council

France to call for EU ban on BPA in till receipts

France is seeking an EU ban on bisphenol A (BPA) in thermal till receipts, the French Environment Minister Delphine Batho announced recently.

The ban was recommended by ANSES in a report published this April which is part of the development of a French national strategy to address the risks of BPA.

According to the ANSES report, till receipts may pose health risks to pregnant women and their foetuses, especially cashiers who are constantly in contact with them. But more research is needed for a thorough analysis.Last year, similar concerns were raised in Sweden.

Sweden, France and other member states have already passed laws banning the use of BPA in food packaging but the EU only bans the chemical in baby bottles.

More information available here 

Post provided by Campaign Secretariat HEAL