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HEAL Newsflash - May 2011

Experts gather to debate the future of EU noise policies

On Wednesday 25th May European and national policy makers, scientists, health specialists and non-governmental groups met to discuss the future of EU noise policies. The well attended conference, organised by HEAL, Transport and Environment (T&E), and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), provided a platform to discuss the latest science on health impacts of environmental noise, especially from road traffic, and how to turn it into more protective policy initiatives. Read more...

New publication - Quiet Please: Better health through less road and rail traffic noise

The health impacts of urban road and rail noise feature in a new brochure by HEAL and Transport and Environment (T&E). Quiet please - better health through strong EU regulation of road and rail traffic noise, draws on the latest scientific evidence and provides solutions that can give us all quieter lives, and improve our health. Read more...

European Parliament’s ENVI Committee climate vote a huge success for health

HEAL welcomes the vote by the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) of the European Parliament in support of a 30% EU reduction target in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. The Parliamentary report clearly highlights the health benefits and health savings from moving to a higher 30% target, and references the work done on cost scenarios by HEAL and its partner. In 2010 our groundbreaking report, Acting NOW for better health, showed the huge public health benefits of moving to a 30% GHG emissions reduction target. These include reductions in premature death and illness, fewer working days lost and lower healthcare costs.

The next step will be the European Parliament’s plenary vote on 23 June and the discussion on EU climate target by EU Heads of State (the European Council) on the 24 June. Read more…

Hormone disrupting chemicals targeted to prevent chronic disease in EU

HEAL, alongside other non-governmental organisations have called on the European Union to rapidly review 22 endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemicals (EDCs) within the REACH legislation because of their effects on health. These chemicals are part of a new SIN (‘Substitute it now’) List -2.0 compiled by the International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) and supported by 11 independent, non-governmental organisations. Read more...

Calling for safe regulation of hormone disrupting chemicals

HEAL, and other environment and health groups and trade unions, have called on the European Union to ensure the effective regulation of chemicals that damage the hormone (or endocrine) system to protect health and the environment.

Evidence of the harmful effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on health, and especially of pre-natal effects as a result of parental exposure, is growing rapidly. Reducing exposure is increasingly seen as a key tool for preventing cancer and other chronic disease. Specifically, the groups call for a strategy to identify EDCs and to speed up control of EDCs to reduce exposure. Read more…

First meeting of the WHO Europe Environment and Health Ministerial Board

The 4th -5th May saw the first meeting of the new high-level E&H Ministerial Board (EHMB) in Paris, hosted by the French ministry of health. The board forms part of the WHO European Environment and Health process and the push to reduce the adverse health impact of environmental threats in Europe to give the process higher political profile. Read more...

HEAL IN THE MEDIA

AFP, France’s leading news agency covered the ARTAC congress in Paris on 13 April and included a quote from Genon Jensen on the slowness of political action in reducing human exposure to harmful chemicals. The European "Parliament.com" news quoted HEAL following the positive outcome of the ENVI Committee’s vote on a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on 24 May. It also focused on our message from the joint conference on noise with Transport and Environment (T&E) and European Environmental Bureau (EEB) on 25 May. See all HEAL’s media coverage here…

MEMBERS’ NEWS

The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare joins HEAL

This month HEAL welcomes The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare to our membership. Formerly ’The Campaign for Greener Healthcare’, the Centre is a dynamic, UK-based, independent organisation working to bring health messages into the centre of the climate change agenda and to transform healthcare for a sustainable future. They are one of HEAL’s partners in the UK in its climate and health campaign. Find out more about the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare

PAN Europe warns: UK and Germany try to weaken controls on hazardous pesticides

Suggestions for new criteria to define endocrine disrupting chemicals have been put forward by the UK and German governments that greatly undermine the levels necessary to protect people’s health, according to HEAL member the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe. Read more...

World Health Assembly adopts resolution targeted at saving the lives of children from injury

In May 2011, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution on child injury prevention, the first ever on the topic. The news was welcomed by Joanne Vincenten, Director of the HEAL member organisation, European Child Safety Alliance. “The resolution should serve as a further impetus for Member States to support uptake of evidence based measures. Injury is still the leading cause of death and disability for children in every Member State in Europe". Read more...

EPHA response to European Commission consultation on health security in the EU

The European Commission launched a consultation on what action the European Commission should take to protect EU citizens more effectively against serious cross-border health threats. On 11 May 2011, EPHA responded to the European Commission consultation on health security in the EU. Read more …

EVENTS

6-17 June 2011: UN Climate Change Conference June 2011, Bonn, Germany. Prof. Hugh Montgomery from the University College London will be representing HEAL at this year’s UNFCCC Bonn climate conference. He will bring the voice of the health community to international policy makers, calling for policies that protect people’s health as well as the environment. Prof. Montgomery has strong experience of work in this field and was also part of the HEAL delegation in last year’s climate talks in Cancun. Watch Hugh in action here...

13-17 June 2011: WHO Global Health Council: Securing a healthier future in a changing world Washington D.C., US.

6 July 2011: European Network on Noise and Health (ENNAH) final conference, Brussels, Belgium.. The conference will present recommendations and policy implications of ENNAH’s findings. The network of 33 partners from 16 countries evaluated the research use of noise maps and actions plans, formulated points for future research directions and informed the development of the European Noise Directive.

24-28 September 2011: European Respiratory Society (ERS) Annual Congress, Amsterdam, Netherlands. . The congress will see the world’s respiratory experts meet to exchange views and share knowledge. Registration now open.

Last updated on 4 July 2011

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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