Category Archives: News

WECF – Flame retardants in consumer products remain a hot topic for environmental

EDC-Free campaign partner Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) welcomes a recent report by the French national risk assessment agency for health and environment (ANSES) on flame retardants used in upholstered furniture.

Furniture is one of the many products which impacts indoor air quality. None of the 22 substances used in upholstered furniture and selected for the ANSES study could be proven safe for health and the environment, with each of them at least suspected to be classified in one of the following categories: reprotoxic, neurotoxic, an EDC, carcinogenic, persistent in the environment. As a consequence, ANSES recommends to use alternative methods to flame retardants.

Several halogenated (brominated, chlorinated, fluorinated) compounds which were widely used until recently notably as flame retardants – are now identified by the Stockholm Convention as “Persistent Organic Pollutants”.

WECF welcomes that ANSES works on this issue, which is of concern for many people. The study reveals that indoor air quality standards do not cover all potential air contaminants, whereas this would be quite necessary to improve knowledge and prevent exposures from vulnerable populations – for example, children in nurseries or pregnant women.

WECF is calling for more collaboration between EU Member States dealing with chemicals in consumer products.

Post provided by WECF France 

Alborada Foundation – EDCs in Madrid – A message for politicians

On 13 October, EDC-Free campaign supporter Alborada Foundation, in cooperation with of CaixaForum Madrid, hosted an event on EDCs aimed at politicians.

For the first time in Spain, the best specialists in EDCs met and shared the results of their research. Discussions looked at how EDCs are able to produce imbalances in the hormone system, triggering or exacerbating diseases such as diabetes, infertility, autism, chemical sensitivity and hormone-related cancers.

All speakers stressed that it is essential that the government act immediately to reduce the incidence of diseases related to EDCs, since current measures are insufficient and consumer information, little or in-existent.

Many ideas and commitments came up by the political representatives and the organisations who attended the event, which took place before elections in Spain in December. After the elections, Foundation Alborada hopes to enhance the role of environmental health in the list of priorities of the Spanish government.

Before the end of the year Foundation Alborada is offering free webinars and a course on EDCs for health professionals in Spanish.

Videos of the lectures and more information about the campaign Don’t let them disrupt your hormones! available in the project’s blog here

Post provided by Alborada Foundation 

NGOs Co-Sign Letter to MEP regarding upcoming Medical Device Regulation Negotiations

HCWH Europe EDC Free Healthcare FB 1

18 international environmental and health organisations including several EDC-Free campaign partners and supporters came together on 11 November to co-sign a letter to MEP Glenis Willmott, seeking her support for an amendment to the EU Commission (EC) Regulation Proposal on Medical Devices in the upcoming trialogue negotiations between the European Parliament (EP), the Luxembourg and Dutch Presidencies of the European Council, and the EU Commission.

You can read the letter to MEP Glenis Willmott here.

HCWH Europe EDC-Free Healthcare Twitter 2

 

HCWH Europe EDC-Free Healthcare Twitter 1

Post and infographics provided by EDC-Free campaign partner Health Care Without Harm (HCWH)

Hair wax contains illegal chemical

A new test from EDC-Free campaign supporter The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals reveals that the hair wax “Kérastase K Short Mania” from L’Oréal contains a chemical (polyaminopropyl biguanide) that is prohibited in cosmetics. The substance is a suspected carcinogen and therefore banned for use in cosmetics in the EU. L’Oréal has decided to withdraw the product from the market.

Test af kemi i hårvoks

In the test The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals closely examined the ingredient lists of 48 brands of hair wax. The result shows that almost half – 23 – of the tested products score the lowest mark. That is due to the facts that they contain allergenic preservatives or substances which are suspected to be carcinogenic or endocrine disrupting.

Project manager in The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals, Stine Müller, recommends consumers to choose hair wax that has received a good mark in the test.

“Hair wax is not a product that you apply to your skin. However, it gets in close contact with the scalp and the hands, and it is a product, that many people use every single day for many hours. I will recommend parents to take a look at the teenagers’ hair wax and decide whether it should be switched to one without unwanted chemicals,” she says.

L’Oréal recalls the hair wax

At L’Oréal director of communication Sonja Christensen informs that “Kérastase K Short Mania” is no longer in production. She refers to an ongoing discussion in the EU about whether the substance is illegal or not.

“Regardless of the result we are convinced that polyaminopropyl biguanide can be used in the given concentration, and The Danish Environmental Protection Agency confirms that the product does not constitute a health risk. Because the product is no longer in production and because we do not want to create mistrust regarding our products, we have chosen to recall the few products that remain on the market,” she says.

IdHAIR also contains unwanted chemical substance

IdHAIR waxes are a very popular brand in Denmark. Unfortunately, hair waxes from IdHAIR are also among the products that fail the test. IdHAIR contains the substance chloroacetamide which is allergenic and suspected to affect the ability to reproduce. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency states, that the substance is not prohibited. But a possible ban is being discussed in the EU.

IdHAIR informs that the company is in a process of finding alternatives to the substance.

A total of 11 hair waxes receive the best possible mark in the test. If you want to avoid problematic chemicals, these are good choices.

The test in Danish: http://kemi.taenk.dk/bliv-klogere/test-kemi-i-haarvoks

Post provided by the Danish Consumer Council 

HEAL welcomes Endocrine Society second Scientific Statement on EDCs

EDC-Free campaign secretariat HEAL welcomes the release today of the Executive Summary of a crucial and authoritative scientific statement to be published in the October online issue of the Endocrine Reviews, a journal of the Endocrine Society.

In the Executive Summary, the Endocrine Society (world’s oldest, largest and most active organisation devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology), says that there is no longer any doubt that exposure to EDCs, found in food and consumer goods, are contributing to some serious illnesses, including obesity, diabetes and cancer.

The Executive Summary of the Statement released today says: “… it is more necessary than ever to minimize further exposures, to identify new EDCs as they emerge, and to understand underlying mechanisms in order to develop methods to enable interventions in cases of EDC associated disease.” 

HEAL urges the EU Commission to listen to the endocrinologists on the science, and move the EU policy forward with the speed that this threat to our health deserves.

You can read HEAL’s reaction here

Post provided by HEAL

BCUK – Handbag guide to harmful chemicals found in everyday products

BCUK handbag guidWe’re all exposed to synthetic and potentially harmful chemicals on a daily basis especially from items such as cosmetics, personal care products and soft furnishings.

But it’s not always easy to know what to avoid, what to look out for and if there are alternative options available. That’s why  EDC-Free campaign partner Breast Cancer UK has re-launched theirhandbag guide for people to take out with them when they go shopping. This new mini guide aims to help consumers identify what to look out for and what to avoid.

Générations Futures EXPPERT Survey 5: Pesticides that are banned or suspected to be EDCs are found in green salads

Generations Futures

 

 

Summary 

The worrying results of the survey by EDC-Free campaign partner Générations Futures shows the need for rapid implementation of the European Regulation on pesticides and of the French National Strategy on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).

EXPPERT investigation

The investigation is available here in French

To demonstrate the urgent need for strong, preventive action in the field of endocrine disrupters, Générations Futures has launched a series of reports on these chemical substances, which threaten the development of the fetus and young children even at low doses. These reports are based on detailed testing and analysis to show the many, omnipresent endocrine disrupting pesticides in our environment causing significant human exposure. Green salad (lettuces, rocket/rucola, etc) is the fourth most highly consumed vegetable in France with households consuming 5kg per year, according to data from INSEE, a leading national statistical institute in France. Considered a “health” food, many brochures from INPES (1) recommend consumption, especially during pregnancy and childhood (2). Generations Future fully supports these recommendations.

Green salad is subject to specific monitoring for the presence of certain chemical substances. Existing findings show that green salad is among the vegetables with the highest pesticide residues. The DGCCRF (3) monitoring plan published in 2013 showed that pesticide residues were present in almost 58% of samples tested. Moreover, according to EFSA (4) – the European Food Safety Authority, 36% of lettuce contains between two and 13 different residues. Many of the residues EFSA commonly finds in lettuces are suspected endocrine disrupters, such as propamocarb and iprodione. These troubling data led us to want to know more about the presence of pesticides in salads in France, and especially about those pesticides suspected of being endocrine disrupters.

Results: Many endocrine disrupters found

Thirty-one samples of different green salads (lettuce, curly salad, rocket, etc.) were purchased in supermarkets in the Oise and in the Somme regions of Picardy between 28 May and 21 July 2015. The amount of samples at 31 is bigger than the representative threshold sample size of 30 which DGCCRF commonly uses.

Below are some of the condensed findings which are further elaborated in our full report.

  • The green salads tested each contain an average of almost four pesticides residues. (5)
  • Of the 31 samples analysed, 80.65% contain at least one pesticide residue (25/31) – not including any residue of methyl bromide (as its origin may be natural rather than from a pesticide).
  • On average, the samples each contain more than two residues of endocrine disrupting pesticides (average: 2.09).
  • 67,74% of the samples contain at least one residue of an endocrine disrupting pesticide (21/31).
  • Among the 10 active ingredients most frequently found, seven are suspected to be endocrine disrupters.

Prohibited products

Five samples (16.13% of total sample) contain one or more prohibited active substances (two samples or 6.45% of the total) or contain an active substance prohibited in salad cultivation in France (three samples or 9.67% of the total). Of these latter three samples, one sample even contains two substances prohibited for use in salad cultivation in France (mandipropamid and imidacloprid).

“We are warning our leaders of the need to take immediate and strong measures to reduce people’s exposure to pesticides, and especially those suspected of being endocrine disrupters. We expect them to compel Europe to rapidly implement the decisions taken as part of the European Regulation 1107/2009, which prohibits putting endocrine disrupting pesticides on the market,” says François Veillerette, spokesperson for Generations Futures.

“In addition, it is unacceptable that pesticides which are banned in Europe or prohibited in the cultivation of salad in France are present in over 16% of the samples tested. Again, we expect strong government action to quickly put an end to this situation – both in the cultivation of salads and all the other crops,” he adds.

Notes

*French abbreviation for “Exposure to endocrine disrupters”
1. France’s National Institute of Prevention and Education for Health
2. http://www.inpes.sante.fr/CFESBases/catalogue/pdf/1387.pdf andhttp://www.inpes.sante.fr/CFESBases/catalogue/pdf/1059.pdf
3. Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Repression of Fraud, France
4. European Union report on pesticide residues in food (2013), EFSA Journal 2015; 13 (3): 4038. page 55. Available at:http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/4038
5. The precise figure is an average of 3.77 residues (not including methyl bromide). With methyl bromide, the average is 4.38.

More information available here www.generations-futures.fr

Post provided by EDC-Free campaign partner Générations Futures (EN summary by EDC-Free Secretariat HEAL) 

Test: Toxins in your mobile phone?

How many hours per week do you hold your smartphone in your hand or by your ear? Maybe you check for messages, news or social updates several times per day. In brief, we are in frequent contact with our mobile phones. Consequently, EDC-Free campaign supporter the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals stresses that it is vital, that our phones do not expose us to hormone disrupting chemicals (EDCs) or cancer-causing substances.

In a previous test of head phones, the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals found unwanted substances. Now this new test reveals that you can text, surf or talk on your smartphone without having to worry about EDCs or cancerous substances.

“We have been eager to see the results of the test, and it is better than expected. It is reassuring that all the 10 examined products do well in our test, when you consider the vast number of people who are in close contact with their mobile phones every day. However, the test does reveal small quantities of unwanted substances, and we urge the manufacturers to phase them out,” says Christel Søgaard Kirkeby, project manager in The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals.

The test revealed small quantities of substances suspected to be hormone disrupting – such as flame retardants, phthalates and Bisphenol A. However, the concentrations were so insignificant that Christel Søgaard Kirkeby does not deem them problematic for the consumer.

“Electronic equipment has usually been known as an area where the manufacturers use chemical substances which are suspected to be endocrine disrupting or cancer-causing. But we are pleasantly surprised that only small amounts of these chemicals were found in the mobile phones. Consequently, they do not contribute in any significant way to the total amount of chemicals that we are exposed to in our everyday life,” she states.

Earlier this year the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals tested headphones. The test showed that 5 out of 16 head phones contained unwanted chemicals. But in the test of mobile phones there were no detection of unwanted chemicals in the enclosed earplugs.

More information available here

Post provided by EDC-Free campaign supporter the Danish Consumer Council