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HEAL Newsletter Decemeber 2009 & January 2010

Environment and Health Policy

Bridging the science-policy gap: New website for health and environment professionals

A new online portal, designed to facilitate the interaction among the actors participating in the health and environment decision process, was launched in November. The HENVINET is a powerful new networking tool designed specifically for the global Environment and Health community. With a range of innovative tools for locating and accessing expertise, knowledge sharing, HENVINET aims to enable a multi-stakeholder approach to addressing the most pressing Environment and Health issues. (...)

Environment and health policy update - December 2009 & January 2010

Environment and health Policy developments - An overview of policy developments in the EU. EU Member States and stakeholders met on 3 December to discuss the progress in implementing the EU Action Plan on Environment and Health (EHAP). Member states expressed enthusiasm and support for a second 2010 EU Action Plan, and highlighted that such a plan should include as priorities climate change and health, indoor air quality as well as human biomonitoring. The Commission will issue a Progress (...)

HEAL e-News joins forces with WHO public health and environment

This month sees the beginning of a partnership between HEAL’s monthly e-News and the Public Health and Environment e-News from the World Health Organization (WHO). Each month HEAL will feature an article from WHO’s Public Health and Environment (PHE) monthly e-News as well as link to their newsletter. In return, PHE will feature an article from HEAL, this month the article will be on the Prescription for a Healthy Planet. PHE provides a comprehensive overview of environmental health within (...)

Report: Injuries in the European Union

EuroSafe - the European Association for Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion - released the latest statistics on injuries due to accidents and violence in the EU. Accidents and violence are a major public health problem, killing more than a quarter of a million people in the EU-27 each year and causing around 42 million injuries that need hospital treatment. Injuries are the fourth most common cause of death, after cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and respiratory diseases. Although the (...)

Spain, the new EU presidency

On January 1st, Spain took over the European Union’s six-month rotating presidency from Sweden. This will be the fourth occasion that Spain has held the Presidency and will be the first presidency under the new Lisbon treaty. In summary, the role of the EU Presidency is threefold, to organise the European Councils, to prepare and preside over the Council of Ministers - the newly-appointed European Council president, Herman Van Rompuy, will chair EU leaders’ meetings - and to represent the (...)

About us & our members

Ireland hosts 19 countries for discussions on Child Safety Action Plans in Europe

The Ministry of Health and Children and the Health Services Executive of Ireland hosted the European Child Safety Alliance and its partners on the Child Safety Action Plan (CSAP) initiative for a two-day meeting on December 2-3. Held in the historic Dublin Castle, the meeting was officially opened by Minister Aíne Brady who welcomed representatives from 19 countries and indicated that Ireland’s performance grade of ‘fair’ on their Child Safety Report Card meant they had work to do on child [(...)>art435]

Book: Paediatric evidence in environment and health

February 2010 will see the launch of new book highlighting examples and evidence of children’s environment and health. The book will provide examples from leading Paediatricians and aims to emphasis the link between pollution and childhood illnesses, and raise of awareness of preventive healthcare. “Children and Environment: what the Paediatricians say” is the work of the Italian scientific organisation, the Paediatric Cultural Association (ACP). Following the report on children’s (...)

HEAL Secretariat News December 2009 and January 2010

Press releases 22/12/2009 Ministers worried about hazardous chemicals cocktails, but postpone action 16/12/09 Tackling the twin threats of climate change and the global health gap 10/12/2009 High level health delegates head to COP15 negotiations 25/11/2009 Health impact of climate change recognised in EP resolution 19/11/2009 Time to pull Mercury out of fillings say health and green groups to W.H.O. Conference and meetings 18th Nov Lisette Van Vliet attended the European Food Science Day (...)

HEAL welcomes three new members

This month, HEAL welcomes three new provisional member organisations from Hungary, Armenia and France. Their full membership will be confirmed at the next HEAL annual general meeting. We look forward to working with these new members in the coming months and years. Clean Air Action Group Clean Air Action Group is a public benefit organisation based in Hungary, working at national level. Aims of the Clean Air Action Group: • Working to implement the most fundamental human right, the (...)

No More BPA Campaign launched in UK and France

On December 1st a dual campaign was launched in the UK and France to ban the use of the toxic chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) in baby bottles as there is increasing evidence and concern of risks to health posed by BPA. HEAL members, Breast Cancer UK and Réseau Environnement Santé (RES) met during the October HEAL annual general meeting, and launched the campaign at the beginning of December in the UK and France. BPA is widely used in plastics and has been a growing concern for scientists in many (...)

Preventing Obesity in Europe- EUROPREVOB Project

HEAL member, the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) participated in the final meeting of the EURO-PREVOB project as a policy adviser. The project aims to link scientific knowledge to policy making to reduce the burden of obesity in Europe. The meeting brought together project partners and advisers to discuss the work conducted to date and consider strategies for taking this work forward. Partners involved in this project include the WHO Europe Office and the London School of Hygiene & (...)

Chemicals

Chemicals and health policy update - December 2009 & January 2010

Chemicals and health Policy developments - An overview of policy developments in the EU. The Swedish Presidency of the European Union Council is leading discussions on exposures to Endocrine Disruptors (EDCs) and the need to take into account the combined effects of hazardous chemicals, particularly EDCs. Read HEAL and partner’s response to the conclusions from the December Environment Ministers Council (22nd Dec) "Ministers worried about hazardous chemicals cocktails, but postpone action" (...)

Human biomonitoring at European level takes shape

A consortium to perform human biomonitoring at European scale (COPHES) met in Brussels, Belgium on 1st and 2nd December 2009. This consortium comprises 35 partners coming from 27 European countries and includes governments, research institutes, the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) and the European Chemical Industry council (CEFIC). COPHES will be funded by the EU under the 7th Framework Programme of the Directorate General (...)

REACH candidate list will expand to 30 substances of very high concern

The most recent fifteen substances of very high concern that were proposed by individual member states to be added to the Candidate List have been unanimously accepted by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) member state committee. However, HEAL has advocated for a faster pace for the addition of chemicals to the Candidate List, given that hundreds of chemicals have already been identified as meeting the criteria for addition to the List, and to make the right-to-know principle in REACH, (...)

Pesticides

Pesticides and health policy update - December 2009 & January 2010

Pesticides and health Policy developments - An overview of policy developments in the EU. The legal texts of the pesticides regulation and directive were published in the EU Official Journal on 24 Nov. This marks the important starting point for when both laws become legally binding: the regulation entered into force on 14 Dec, and applies from 14.06.2011. The Directive on the Sustainable use of pesticides has already entered into force, and EU Member States must comply with it by 14 (...)

Scientists find more health implications on pesticide use in agriculture

A new report published in the scientific journal, the Lancet, in December reveals unexpected health effects of wide pesticide use in agriculture. Researchers at Nijmegen University in the Netherlands have carried out 15 years of research on resistant funghi (part of the azoles-group). These funghi cause serious lung problems in humans which can often be life-threatening as the existing medicines not function anymore. This latest report, ‘Azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus: a (...)

What’s for Christmas dinner? How does food industry respect EU pesticide limits

As Christmas approaches, HEAL member, PAN Europe has asked if the fresh food on Europe’s dining tables is safe. Its survey, in four EU countries this autumn, shows that most produce sampled had multiple traces of harmful pesticides, often several times maximum permitted doses. Two samples had illegal substances. “We’re appalled at the contempt growers, retailers and government are showing for public health”, said Gergely Simon, a PAN Europe board member. “Parents are feeding children (...)

Climate Change

Climate change and health policy update – December 2009 & January 2010

Climate change and health Policy developments - An overview of policy developments in the EU. European Parliament Resolution on Climate change: voting results In a plenary vote on its Resolution on Climate Change on the 24th November, the European Parliament recognised the need to consider public health, as well as the co-benefits of emission reductions to global health. In their press release, MEPs emphasised that an agreement in Copenhagen could stimulate a ’Sustainable New Deal’ boosting (...)

Health impacts of climate change in the media

In the run up to the Copenhagen summit this month, we saw an upsurge in articles related to health and climate change in the mainstream press. HEAL have compiled a list of a few of the best, including an article on the Lancet’s recent research on health and climate change and a BMJ news story about the amendment that meant health was mentioned in the European Parliament’s resolution on climate change. British Medical Journal A British Medical Journal editorial last week asked Will a global (...)

Air Quality

Commission decisions object to Member State requests for more time to comply with EU air quality legislation

On 12th December, The European Commission adopted three decisions concerning requests from three EU member states for additional time to comply with EU legislation on air quality. The decisions relate to requests made by Bulgaria, Poland and the United Kingdom for temporary exemptions in 97 zones from the EU’s air quality standards for dangerous airborne particles known as PM 10. The vast majority of air quality zones in the EU did not satisfy the conditions for a time extension, or were (...)

Last updated on 30 June 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 »

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