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A Toxics-Free Future

Highlights Front Roll

NEW STUDY Mercury Harming Economic Growth
IPEN at the Basel-Rotterdam-Stockholm Conferences of the Parties
Stories from the Clean Room
Toxic Recycling Must End
Critical Milestone in 10-Year Battle: Agreed Policy Framework on Samsung

IPEN, currently in Rome for the 12th meeting of the Stockholm Convention's POPs Review Committee (POPRC), today made an intervention on PFOA in plenary. The intervention, delivered by IPEN Senior Advisor Dr. Mariann Lloyd-Smith, described how PFOA's toxicity has for years made it an appalling threat to the health of communities all over the world, and reminded participants of the Committee meeting that the industry has known since at least 1961 that PFOA is toxic. PFOA contamination is linked to ulcerative colitis, high cholesterol, pregnancy-induced hypertension, thyroid disease, testicular cancer and kidney cancer.

IPEN Participating Organization Ecological Alert and Recovery-Thailand (EARTH), along with Chulalongkorn University, National Health Commission Office of Thailand, Kumamoto Gakuen University, and Collaboration Center for Minamata Disease Victims, organized a program and public conference from 9th-12th September, 2016 in Thailand. The program aimed to discuss lessons learned from the Minamata industrial disaster and how to apply those lessons for a sustainable society and environment.

Tanzania Bureau of Standards’ Acting Director General, Engineer Edna Ndumbaro, has announced that Tanzania plans, over the next four years, to remove all paints with lead substances from the market.

In addition, government representatives from Kenya and Tanzania have agreed to work to revise the lead limit of the current East African Community (EAC) standards on various types of paint to 90 ppm total lead.

In preparation for the 12th meeting of the Stockholm Convention's POPs Review Committee (POPRC), which will take place 19 – 23 September in Rome, IPEN has developed a Quick Guide to IPEN Views on POPRC12 (English and français). This document highlights IPEN's views on issues that the Committee will tackle at the meeting, including formal recommendations for listing two chemicals in the treaty: DecaBDE (flame retardant widely present in e-waste) and short-chained chlorinated paraffins (used in metalworking, and as flame retardants in PVC consumer products).

IPEN has joined numerous other environmental and health organizations in sending a letter to European government representatives relating to a draft regulation that it will soon present to the REACH Committee about the restriction of PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related substances.

PFOA is classified as toxic for reproduction (category 1B), affects cholesterol levels and may cause cancer in humans. A recent published study from the C8 Health Project survey showed a dose-related increase in both kidney and testicular cancer with PFOA among 32,254 participants. It is so persistent, that there are no measurable environmental half-lives.

IPEN Participating Organization Arnika, based in the Czech Republic, recently found concentrations of toxic substances in several samples of commonly available summer shoes and drinking glasses. Chemical analysis was commissioned of footwear and printed glasses, and DEHP and DiBP, which are phthalates especially hazardous for human hormonal and reproductive systems, were found in the shoes, as well as lead. Children's shoes specifically were tested, because children are particularly vulnerable to the hazards of phthalates and heavy metals.

Press Release: EcoWaste Coalition, a non-profit watch group tracking toxic chemicals in products and wastes, lauded fast food giant McDonald’s Philippines for voluntarily recalling promotional back packs, sling bags and bag tags that contain lead, a hazardous substance.

The voluntary recall will be conducted starting today August 26 until October 24, 2016 by suppliers MZM Souvenirs and F Colors with McDonald’s full support and cooperation as announced by Golden Arches Development Corp., the master franchise holder of McDonald’s restaurants in the Philippines.   

The recall was the outcome of the EcoWaste Coalition’s chemical investigation showing lead in the accessible substrate material of the black back pack as it reported to McDonald’s Philippines and US last August 8.

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