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HEAL Newsflash - February & March 2012

  • Paving the way for a greater health focus in the 7th EU Environment Action Programme

Parliamentarians of the EP’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety have underlined that the 7th EU Environment Action Programme should contain specific goals to reduce health impacts from pollution by 2020. MEPs are also worried about emerging health threats from nanomaterials, chemicals mixtures and endocrine disruptors, and demand specific action. Learn more…

  • WHO: European Ministerial Board sets Rio +20 as a priority

Meeting for the second time, the European Environment and Health Ministerial Board set out its priorities for 2012, including plans to develop a common statement linking health to sustainable development for the forthcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Learn more…

  • WHO European Centre for Environment and Health expands

Plans for the expanded work of the WHO European Centre for Environment and Health (ECEH) in Bonn include broadening its scope around four areas: exposure to key environmental risks (air, noise, chemicals, radiation, inadequate working conditions, and housing); health intelligence and forecasting; climate change and sustainable development; and, water and sanitation. Learn more…

  • The poor: greatest exposure to dangerous environmental factors

In a time of financial constraints and broadening socio-demographic inequalities, a unique area of ECEH’s work is to offer countries new evidence and policy options to tackle the unequal distribution of environmental health risks. Learn more…

  • Landmark ruling on pesticides and farmers’ health

Générations Futures released a press release after the victory in an important legal challenge in relation to pesticides in France. In their work to help farmers suffering from illness, GF assists an association of those suffering from the effects of exposure to pesticides, which HEAL also supports. Learn more…

  • Congress: “Pesticides and Health: Options for improvements?”

As part of the Pesticides Action Week a conference on pesticides and health will be held in Paris, France. It aims to bring the voice of health-affected groups to the debate in an event that will hear about health risks, the alternatives to pesticides, and the necessary political action. It is organized by Générations Futures, and co-sponsored by several organisations, including the Phyto-Victimes network and HEAL. Learn more…

  • HEAL backs 10 guiding principles and call to tackle an invisible killer

HEAL supports European lung experts’ recommendations for stronger EU air quality legislation and calls on EU and national leaders to respond to this public health threat by also adopting more ambitious climate policies. The 10 guiding principles of the European Respiratory Society are relevant not only for air quality but also for climate policy. Learn more…

  • Commission’s analysis provides case for stronger EU climate action

The European Commission has released a new paper that looks at the costs and benefits of greater climate action. It shows that moving from the current 2020 target of a 20% cut in emissions to a 30% cut is cheaper than expected and that massive fuel savings, huge health benefits and many new jobs are expected. Learn more…

  • Air Quality: EU leadership for pollution reduction needed

HEAL and other organisations urge European leaders to take all necessary steps towards an ambitious revision of the Gothenburg Protocol on air pollution, which will have major implications for the future of EU air quality. As negotiations on the protocol draw to an end, the EU should go ahead on ambitious reduction commitments. For a high ambition level, the benefits would outweigh the costs 55 times. Learn more…

  • EU Environment ministers urged to phase out dental amalgam

Four EU-wide public interest organisations and networks have written a letter to all 27 EU Environment Ministers to urge the phase out of dental amalgam use both at EU and at global levels. The letter notes that ultimately, society pays for the uncontrolled releases of dental mercury in pollution control, loss of common resources, and the health effects from mercury contamination. Learn more...

  • Report paves way for ban on "gender bender" hormone-disrupting chemicals

The European Commission has released a major report on the science of defining and identifying Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs). This report provides the way forward for taking action to reduce exposure through the various EU laws. Learn more...

  • Child exposure to PFCs associated with reduced immune response

A new study demonstrates that elevated exposures to PFCs (perfluorinated compounds) in children make their immune system more sluggish and less effective to fight infection therefore rendering routine immunizations (tetanus and diphtheria) less effective at a young age. The study also suggested that exposure to PFCs, before and after birth, may lower a child’s ability to make disease-fighting antibodies later in life. Learn more...

Events

March

April

Take Action

  • Get involved in building a pesticide free future!

Anyone who rejects the idea that intensive pesticide use is inevitable can join the 7th annual Pesticide Action Week. Why not create your own event or register for the two-day conference (see next article) or join one of the events organized in your home country to support the campaign? Learn more…

Media Coverage

  • The European Voice, an influential and leading source for EU news and affairs, featured an editorial about the co-benefits for health of strong climate action on 2 February 2012. “Cut emissions, boost health” was written by Prof Hugh Montgomery, who has been an important voice for the health community not only in Europe but in the international climate talks these past two years.

See full media coverage.

Members’ News

  • CIEH issues recommendations on fracking

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) newly-created policy position on fracking includes: a policy statement and a briefing paper. The policy position was prompted by the seminar HEAL organised immediately after last year’s Annual General Assembly in November 2011. Learn more…

  • Générations Futures bring political attention to “Phyto-Victimes”

This year at the Paris International Agricultural Show a group of farmers, who are victims of pesticides, demonstrated to denounce the current problems of farming with pesticides and to call for action. For the first time, they stood up to contradict statements made by industry that suggest that pesticides are not poisonous. Learn more…

  • French health & environment question EFSA BPA decision

A new report, "Conflicts on the menu", questions EFSA’s reliance on industry data and highlights conflicts of interests with industry-linked scientists. It was prepared by Corporate Europe Observatory on EFSA’s 10th Anniversary with support from HEAL members, Reseau Environnement Santé (RES) and Générations Futures (GF). Learn more…

  • AWHHE research reveals pesticide contamination in Armenia

Since 2011, research by the Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE), a HEAL member, and the Czech Arnika Association have found that samples taken from areas near warehouses where expired pesticides were previously stored contain DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) and other concentrations of chemical pesticides, which exceed by several times the marginal permissible amount. Learn more…

  • Perchloroethylene called a carcinogen in the city

The World Day against cancer was held on 4 February and gave the opportunity for HEAL members, Reseau Environnement Santé (RES) and Générations Futures (GF) to draw attention to how perchloroethylene, a toxic solvent used in dry cleaning, which has been banned in other countries due to being linked with causing cancer, is still being used in Europe. Learn more…

  • C2DS raises alarm about nano forms of titanium dioxide

The use of nanomaterials is rapidly increasing, both in industrial applications and in consumer products, even though their health and environmental effects are unknown, say C2DS. Nano forms of titanium dioxide have decontaminating qualities and are used in personal care products pharmaceuticals, food-processing, building products and the hospital sector. Learn more…

  • WECF studies toxicity in children’s toys

Women in Europe for a Common Future (ECF) is a founding member of the Safe Toys Coalition and aims to protect children’s health by striving for a world free of toxic and unsafe toys. On 25 January, they held a press conference at the European Parliament calling for toxic-free toys in the EU as well as for individuals to come and bring toys for testing. Learn more…

  • EFA Call to Action on Respiratory Allergies

As part of its Allergy Project, the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Association (EFA) has launched the EFA Book on Respiratory Allergies at the European Parliament, which includes a Call to Action. Learn more…

  • Fundacion Vivo Sano announces Congress on Risks for Public Health & the Environment

The Health Defense Organization in co-operation with HEAL member Fundacion Vivo Sano and others are organising an international Conference on Risks for Public Health and the Environment, which will be held 16-18 May in Madrid, with the participation of international experts, NGOs, international organisations and policy makers. Learn more…

Last updated on 26 June 2012

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »

Members

HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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