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MEDIA REPORTS

CHEMICALS MANAGEMENT

This page was updated on: 01/13/10

 

2005

 

Chemicals Management Media Reports Archives: 2010; 2009; 2008; 2007; 2006; 2004; 2003; 2002

NOVEMBER 2005

 

EU PARLIAMENT APPROVES “REACH” CHEMICALS LAW; MEMBER STATES TO VOTE ON 13 DECEMBER

The EU Parliament has voted for a compromise proposal on a new chemicals law, called REACH (Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals). The new law, which was approved on 17 November 2005, would require industry to provide safety data on chemical substances, and provide this data to a central database. EU member states will vote on the proposal in an extraordinary meeting to be held in December.
 

Link to further information

European Commission statement, November 2005

 

IFCS RELEASES PUBLICATION ON CHILDREN’S HEALTH

IFCS has released a new report entitled Chemical Safety and Children’s Health: Protecting the world’s children from harmful chemical exposures: a global guide to resources. Prepared by the IFCS Children and Chemical Safety Working Group, the report gives background information on the issue and provides links to relevant resources for stakeholders to prevent harm to children. 
 

Link to further information

Children's Champions

 

GREENPEACE HIGHLIGHTS TOXIC CHEMICALS IN EUROPEAN EELS

A recent report from Greenpeace has identified brominated flame retardants and PCBs in eels from rivers and lakes in 10 European countries. The report, Swimming in Chemicals, highlights levels of these chemicals, some of which are prohibited in Europe, although some are still in use. The report urges European leaders to respond by adopting and implementing the REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) programme. 
 

Link to further information

The report

 

OCTOBER 2005

 

FURTHER COMMENTS REQUESTED ON SAICM HIGH-LEVEL DECLARATION

The President of the SAICM Preparatory Committee has released a revised draft high-level declaration, including amendments made in response to comments made by participants during PrepCom-3. Additional comments on the draft high-level declaration will be accepted until 11 November 2005, and will be considered by the President in advance of the International Conference on Chemicals Management, to be held in Dubai from 4-5 February 2006.
 

Link to further information

Draft SAICM high-level declaration

 

WWF TESTS SHOW CHILDREN MORE CONTAMINATED THAN MOTHERS

Children have more chemicals in their blood than their mothers, according to a new European study. A report from a European-wide survey of chemicals levels in three generations of women found 73 anthropogenic chemicals in the women’s blood. WWF’s “Generations X” survey tested women from 13 families from 12 European countries, and analyzed blood samples for 107 different substances. Substances tested included DDT, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, perfluorinated chemicals, and artificial musks. The highest number of chemicals was detected in the oldest generation (grandmothers), with 63 chemicals. In the mothers’ generation, 49 chemicals were detected. However, this had risen to 59 chemicals in the children. 
 

Link to further information

WWF information, 6 October 2005

 

SEPTEMBER 2005

 

NEW FORUM TO COMBAT ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME IN ASIA

A regional forum has been formed as the first step to a more rigorous monitoring of environmental crime in Asia and the Pacific. Facilitated by UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, the forum is expected to help curb the trade of hazardous chemicals, as well as natural resources and endangered species in the region. The forum will foster regional cooperation in combating environmental crime, encourage intelligence and information exchange, explore synergies in respective training programmes, and coordinate activities in combating illegal trade.
 

Link to further information

World-wire news report, 15 September 2005

 

HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS FOUND IN UNBORN CHILDREN

Greenpeace and WWF have released a report identifying hazardous chemicals that are apparently being passed from women to their unborn children. The report, entitled “A Present for Life: Hazardous Chemicals in Umbilical Cord Blood,” summarizes results from testing of samples of maternal and umbilical cord blood for the presence of eight chemical groups Chemicals identified in blood samples included phthalates, perfluorinated compounds such as PFOS and PFOA, and organochlorines such as hexachlorobenzene.
 

Link to further information

The report

 

NGOS MARK GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST WASTE AND INCINERATION

A group of NGOs has organized a week of awareness-raising activities on waste issues. The network challenges governments to adopt and implement policies that will prevent waste at source, reduce and eliminate toxics, extend producer responsibility, promote sustainable consumption, and intensify recycling and composting. The focus of the week’s activities was a “Global Day of Action” against waste and incineration on 7 September 2005. The international campaign, now in its fourth year, is coordinated by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (also known as the Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance) or GAIA, a non-profit network of public interest groups and individuals.
 

Link to further information

Global movement says no to toxics and wastes

 

JULY 2005

 

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT VOTES TO BAN PHTHALATES USE IN TOYS

The European Parliament has voted in favor of a permanent ban on the use of phthalates in toys, making permanent a temporary ban that had been in place since 1999. Phthalates are substances that are used as softeners in plastic materials. Three phthalates (DEHP, DBP and BBP) that are classified as reprotoxic are banned in all toys and childcare articles, and three other phthalates (DINP, DIDP and DNOP) are banned for use in soft PVC toys and articles children may suck or chew on.
 

Link to further information

Permanent ban of phthalates: Commission hails long-term safety for children’s toys


JUNE 2005

 

SWEDEN PROPOSES BAN ON PERFLUOROOCTANE SULFONATE

Sweden is calling for a worldwide ban on perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), according to reports. The chemical is used by various industries, and is believed to pose health risks to animals and human populations.

 

Links to further information

ENN news report, 15 June 2005
Background information from the Swedish Chemicals Inspectorate

 

APRIL 2005

 

EU, MEXICO, WWF PROPOSE CHEMICALS FOR STOCKHOLM CONVENTION

The European Union, Mexico, and environment group WWF have all proposed adding chemicals to those dealt with under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). While the EU has proposed two chemicals and Mexico one, WWF has listed 20 it believes should be considered.

 

At the recent first Conference of Parties to the Stockholm Convention held in Punta del Este, the EU proposed that chlordecone and hexabromobiphenyl be added to the Stockholm Convention. Chlordecone and hexabromobiphenyl are already listed in the regional UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) protocol on POPs under the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution. Chlordecone is used as a pesticide, and hexabromobiphenyl is a brominated flame retardant.

 

Meanwhile, Mexico announced its intention that the pesticide lindane be added to the Stockholm Convention. Lindane, used as a pesticide and as a treatment for head lice, is listed under the Rotterdam Convention’s Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure, as well as in the in the regional UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) protocol on POPs under the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution. The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation, of which Mexico is a member, is currently developing a regional action plan on lindane.

 

The 20 additional chemicals proposed by WWF include seven pesticides, insecticides, biocides and fungicides – chlordecone, hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), pentachlorophenol (PCP), endosulfan, hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD), dicofol, methoxychlor.

 

The WWF list also includes five brominated flame retardants – hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), hexabromobiphenyl (Hexa-BB), pentabrominated diphenyl ether (penta-BDE), octabrominated diphenyl ether (octa-BDE), decabrominated diphenyl ether (deca-BDE). Two perfluorinated compounds – perfluorooctanyl sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid and its salts (PFOA) – are also on the list, as are four other chlorinated chemicals or groups – pentachlorobenzene (penta-CB), short-chained chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs), polychlorinated naphtalenes (PCNs), and tetrachlorobenzene (tetra-CB). Finally, two unintentionally-produced chemicals are also listed – ochtachlorostyrene (OCS) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Many of these chemicals, including perfluorinated compounds and brominated flame retardants, are widely used in everyday products and have been detected in the environment.
 

Links to further information

Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of POPs COP-1, May 2005
Commission to Push for Effective Implementation of Global Treaty on Toxic Chemicals, European Commission press release, 29 April 2005

Stockholm Convention Chemical Listing Proposals, May 2005
WWF Lists 20 Chemicals to be Added to the POPs Treaty, WWF press release, 28 April 2005
�Stockholm Convention �New POPs�: Screening Additional POPs Candidates,� WWF report, April 2005
 

APRIL 2005

 

UN NAMES SHEILA WATT-CLOUTIER �CHAMPION OF THE EARTH�

Sheila Watt-Cloutier of Canada, who is the President of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, was named one of seven �Champions of the Earth� by the UN Environment Programme, in recognition of her work addressing global warming and contributions to efforts to eliminate persistent organic pollutants. The awards, which honor outstanding environmental achievers and leaders from each region of the world, were presented on 19 April at UN headquarters in New York. Other recipients included: the King and people of Bhutan; the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates; President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa; His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, head of the Orthodox Christian Church; Julia Carabias Lillo, former environment minister of Mexico; and Zhou Qiang and the All-China Youth Federation.

 

Link to further information

UNEP Names Seven "Champions of the Earth"

 

NORWAY PROPOSES PENTA-BDE FOR STOCKHOLM CONVENTION

The Norwegian Government has submitted a proposal to add pentabromodiphenyl ether (penta-BDE) to the Stockholm Convention as a persistent organic pollutant (POP). Penta-BDE, which is used as a flame retardant, is already prohibited in the European Union. The proposal will be forwarded to an expert group for scientific review, following the first Conference of Parties to the Stockholm Convention in May 2005.

 

Links to further information

Proposal to add a new substance to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

Pentabromodiphenyl ether as a globar POP

Addendum to the report Pentabromodiphenyl ether as a global POP


INTERNATIONAL POPS ELIMINATION PROJECT WEBSITE LAUNCHED

The International POPs Elimination Project (IPEP), a global NGO project to facilitate implementation of the Stockholm Convention, has launched its new website. IPEP, which began in May 2004, is a project of the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN), in partnership with the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The Global Environment Facility (GEF) provided core funding for the project. IPEP�s goals are to encourage and enable NGOs in 40 developing and transitional countries to engage in Stockholm Convention activities; to enhance capacity-building among NGOs; and to help establish regional and national NGO coordination and capacity in all regions in support of longer term efforts to achieve chemical safety.

 

Link to further information

http://www.oztoxics.org/ipepweb/

 

MARCH 2005

 

IFCS �THOUGHT-STARTER� ON SAICM RELEASED, COMMENTS INVITED

The Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) Forum Standing Committee has released a �Thought-Starter� document on International Aspects of Chemicals Management Post-SAICM � Tracking Progress, Promoting Implementation, and Follow-Up. The document aims to stimulate thinking and discussion on aspects of the SAICM, by examining possible institutional arrangements and roles in chemical safety. It proposes six options for possible institutional arrangements for SAICM implementation: retaining the status quo; amending the functions of the IFCS; amending the functions of the IOMC; combining the IFCS and IOMC; allocating a lead role to an existing organization outside the chemicals system; or creating a new entity with responsibility for SAICM. Comments are requested on the paper by 19 May 2005 from countries, NGOs and IGOs.

 

Link to further information

IFCS Thought Starter

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