Health and Environment Alliance en Bisphenol A Update <p class="spip"><strong class="spip">European Food Safety Authority invites experts to discuss Bisphenol A The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will invite national experts from the EU Member States to a meeting by early April to discuss its ongoing scientific work with regard to bisphenol A (BPA).</strong></p> <p class="spip">At the meeting, EFSA, the EU’s food safety watchdog, the will outline its draft opinion on BPA, which is currently being prepared by EFSA’s scientific panel on food contact materials (CEF Panel), prior to its expected adoption in May 2010. The meeting will allow Member States to contribute any relevant national work in support of the finalisation of EFSA’s opinion.</p> <p class="spip">Members of EFSA’s Advisory Forum have been asked to nominate national experts to take part in the meeting alongside members of the CEF Panel’s working group on BPA.</p> <p class="spip">EFSA published scientific opinions on BPA in January 2007 and July 2008. In October 2009, EFSA received a further request from the European Commission to assess the relevance of a new study on possible neurodevelopmental effects of BPA and, if necessary, to update the existing Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) accordingly.</p> <p class="spip">• <a href="" class="spip_out">Opinion of the Scientific Panel on food additives, flavourings, processing aids and materials in contact with food (AFC) related to 2,2-BIS(4-HYDROXYPHENYL)PROPANE</a></p> <p class="spip">• <a href="" class="spip_out">Toxicokinetics of Bisphenol A - Scientific Opinion of the Panel on Food additives, Flavourings, Processing aids and Materials in Contact with Food (AFC) </a></p> <p class="spip">This news comes at a timely moment. The 5th Feburary saw the French food safety authority (Agence Francaise de Securite Sanitaire des Aliments, Afssa) recoginse the existence of health threats from Bisphenol A</strong>.</p> <p class="spip">In a report released last week, Afssa acknowledge new elements and alarming signals, particularly in behavior and reproduction following pre and post natal exposure to BPA, according to an article in Le Monde.</p> <p class="spip">However, whilst it is positive to see that Afssa’s new position on BPA is one that recognises the existence of alarming indications, French environment and health groups say that it falls short of the mark. HEAL member <a href="" class="spip_out">Le Réseau Environnement Santé</a> (RES) states that <strong class="spip">Afssa have failed to draw on the necessary consequences and provide no evidence for harmful impacts on BPA on human health</strong>.</p> 2010-02-08T09:43:48Z text/html en Statement following the EU environment Council meeting <p class="spip">“Environment ministers have discussed yesterday a possible framework for an EU emissions reduction target beyond 20% by 2020, but sadly shied away from committing to a move towards a 30% reduction target on greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Now we are relying on MEPs to really make this happen – the plenary vote on 23 June must ensure a binding 30% target to guarantee safe public health in the long term and the proven co-benefits for Europe’s economy,” says Dr Pendo Maro, Senior Policy Advisor, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) and Health Care Without Harm Europe (HCWH E).</p> <p class="spip">HEAL and HCWH Europe are working with its members and medical professionals in many EU countries in support of an EU move to the 30% target. Increasingly, doctors and others are aware that "What is good for climate is good for health”, and for the economy. Last year, HEAL/HCWH published hard hitting evidence to back up this statement. The findings, in our report called “Acting Now for Better Health: a 30% reduction target for EU climate policy”, have been used by many policy makers.</p> <p class="spip">Contacts</p> <p class="spip">Dr. Pendo Maro, Senior Policy Advisor, Health Care Without Harm Europe; Health and Environment Alliance Tel: + 32 2234 3647, Mobile: +32 495 281 494, Email:</p> <p class="spip">Diana Smith, Communications and Media, Health and Environment Alliance Tel: +33 1 55 25 25 84, Mobile: +33 6 33 04 2943, Email:</p> 2011-06-22T10:08:45Z text/html en HEAL in the media - Children’s environment and health 2011 <p class="spip"><strong class="spip">APRIL - MAY</strong></p> <p class="spip">3 May 2011 - Chemical Watch, NGO presents action plan to reduce childhood exposure to contaminants (Subscription only)</p> <p class="spip">27 April 2011 - Chemical Watch, NGOs want Stockholm parties to halt BDE recycling (Subscription only)</p> <p class="spip">27 April 2011 - Chemical Watch, <a href="" class="spip_out">IPEN says integrity of Convention could be damaged unless urgent action taken</a> (Subscription only but article available on the web)</p> <p class="spip">13 April 2011 - AFP, PARIS - Pollution environnementale: des scientifiques inquiets de l’impact sur les enfants->] (Published in 20minutes, free newspaper distributed in France’s biggest cities)</p> <p class="spip">13 April 2011 - Chemical Watch, NGO calls for action to prevent childhood diseases from exposure to certain chemicals (Subscription only)</p> 2011-06-22T09:12:12Z text/html en PAN Europe warns: UK and Germany lobby against controls on dangerous pesticides <p class="spip">Suggestions for new criteria to define hazardous 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.</p> <p class="spip">The European Commission is currently developing ‘cut-off’ criteria for pesticides that damage the hormone system (so-called ‘endocrine disruptors’) and will release them by 2013, following a requirement of the new EU pesticides regulation. The new law would see a ban of endocrine disrupting pesticides as classified by Europe-wide criteria, an approach that has been welcomed by health and environment groups. PAN Europe warns that what the UK and Germany are proposing will lead again to lengthy discussions about dosage and health effects, instead of having a straightforward ban of endocrine disrupting pesticides. PAN Europe has sent their concerns to the Health Commissioner Dalli and the Environment Commissioner Potocnik.</p> 2011-06-01T11:02:34Z text/html en HEAL Newsflash - May 2011 2011-06-01T10:47:34Z text/html en World Health Assembly adopts resolution targeted at saving the lives of children from injury <p class="spip"><strong class="spip">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, <a href="" class="spip_out">European Child Safety Alliance</a>. </strong> “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".</p> <p class="spip">The <a href="" class="spip_out">resolution</a>, spurred by the WHO/UNICEF <i class="spip">World report on child injury prevention</i>, provides a platform to support action on preventing child injuries, which are the leading cause of death for children over the age of 5 years. More than 830,000 children die each year from road traffic crashes, drowning, burns, falls and poisoning.</p> <p class="spip"><strong class="spip">Under the resolution, Member States are urged to prioritise the prevention of child injuries</strong>; implement the recommendations of the <i class="spip">World report on child injury prevention</i>; and develop and put into practice a multi-sectoral policy and plan of action with realistic targets.</p> <p class="spip">It calls upon the WHO Director-General to collaborate with Member States in establishing science-based policies to prevent child injury; to encourage research, build capacity, and mobilise resources for child injury prevention; and to continue providing technical support to countries to develop and implement child injury prevention measures and strengthen emergency and rehabilitation services. The resolution also calls upon the WHO Director-General to establish a network with organisations of the United Nations system, international development partners and nongovernmental organizations to ensure effective coordination and implementation of activities for child injury prevention.</p> <p class="spip">Joanne Vincenten added: "We are thrilled that the World Health Assembly has adopted the resolution on child injury prevention. Child injury creates a huge environmental burden, annually killing thousands of children and sending hundreds of thousands to hospital or emergency services, sometimes leading to life-long disabilities. Injury is also the leading cause of inequity in childhood death in Europe, so this is not only a health concern in Africa or Asia."</p> 2011-06-01T10:45:41Z text/html en NGOs and trade unions call for safe regulation of hormone disrupting chemicals <p class="spip"><strong class="spip">HEAL, alongside a coalition of 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.</strong></p> <p class="spip">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. <a href="" class="spip_out">Read more… </a></p> <p class="spip">The groups’ call was announced at the same time as the leading US non-profit health group, The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX), released a revised list of <a href="" class="spip_out">Potential Endocrine Disruptors</a>. The list details some 800 chemicals, each one has verified citations to published, accessible, primary scientific research demonstrating effects on the endocrine system. The <a href="" class="spip_out">new list</a> will continue to be updated as new studies are published and prior research is uncovered for endocrine disruptors not yet on the list.</p> 2011-06-01T10:38:26Z text/html en Hormone disrupting chemicals targeted to prevent chronic disease in EU <p class="spip"><strong class="spip">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.</strong> These chemicals are part of a new <a href="" class="spip_out">SIN (‘Substitute it now’) List 2.0</a> compiled by the International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) and supported by 11 independent, non-governmental organisations.</p> <p class="spip">The 22 chemicals are linked to cancer, diabetes, behavioural and attention deficit disorders, as well as impaired fertility. Many of these chemicals are commonly found in toys, food packaging, and cosmetics. This short list of chemicals is just a drop in the bucket and only focuses on an initial set which would fall under the REACH regulation. A much more extensive list of EDCs, some 800 substances, was <a href="" class="spip_out">released in May by the TEDx.</a></p> 2011-06-01T10:37:29Z text/html en First meeting of the WHO Europe Environment and Health Ministerial Board <p class="spip"><strong class="spip">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</strong>.</p> <p class="spip">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.</p> <p class="spip">During the 2010 Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health representatives of the 53 countries in the WHO European Region pledged to reduce environmental threats to health. To keep the process on track and ensure that pledges are met, the EHMB was established, and a work plan and working methods were discussed. Details of this information are not yet public.</p> <p class="spip">The new board consists of: <br> • 4 Health ministers: France, Malta, Serbia, Slovenia<br> • 4 Environment ministers: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Romania, Turkey<br> • WHO Regional Director for Europe Zsuzsanna Jakab<br> • Executive Secretary of UNECE<br> • Director UNEP Regional Office for Europe <br> • Representative from the EU Commission.</p> <p class="spip">There is also a new European Environment and Health Task Force EHTF, of which HEAL, EcoForum and others are members. The EHTF will be the leading body for implementation and monitoring of the European environment and health process. The first meeting will be held in September, and we’ll keep you updated when we have more news.</p> 2011-06-01T10:33:26Z text/html en New publication - Quiet Please: Better health through less road and rail traffic noise <p class="spip"><span class='spip_document_2610 spip_documents spip_documents_right' style='float:right; width:173px;'> <img src='' width="173" height="233" alt="" /></span> The health impacts of urban road and rail noise feature in a new brochure by HEAL and Transport and Environment (T&E). <a href="" class="spip_out">Quiet please - better health through strong EU regulation of road and rail traffic noise</a>, draws on the latest scientific evidence and provides solutions that can give us all quieter lives, and improve our health.</p> <p class="spip">Traffic noise is one of the most widespread environmental problems in Europe, with severe consequences for public health. At present, some 210 million Europeans are regularly exposed to road traffic noise levels exceeding the current health standard of 55 decibels and 35 million are exposed to these levels of rail noise, according to <a href="" class="spip_out">recent studies</a>. There are several easy ways to make improvements, by focusing on noise reduction at the source.</p> <p class="spip"><a href="" class="spip_out">Quiet please - better health through strong EU regulation of road and rail traffic noise</a> presents these solutions and demonstrates a road to a quieter and healthier life.</p> 2011-06-01T10:30:39Z text/html en Experts gather to debate the future of EU noise policies <p class="spip"><strong class="spip">On Wednesday 25th May, European and national policy makers, scientists, environment and health specialists and non-governmental groups met to discuss the future of EU noise policies.</strong> The well attended <a href="" class="spip_out">conference</a>, organised by HEAL, Transport and Environment (T&E), and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), provided a platform to discuss the latest science on noise & health, road traffic noise and the future of EU noise policy.</p> <p class="spip"><span class='spip_document_2633 spip_documents spip_documents_center' > <img src='' width="320" height="240" alt="" /></span><br></p> <p class="spip">Anne Stauffer, Deputy Director of HEAL, closed the conference by emphasising that there is a continuous need for awareness raising of the health impacts of environmental noise and for further research, especially on combined effects of air pollution and noise. <strong class="spip">HEAL hopes that the new health evidence presented at the conference will be taken into account by policy makers in the upcoming decisions on EU vehicle noise and in the review of the EU Environmental Noise Directive.</strong></p> <p class="spip"><span class='spip_document_2634 spip_documents spip_documents_center' > <img src='' width="320" height="240" alt="" /></span><br></p> <p class="spip">During the conference, Philippe Jean announced of the European Commission plan to tighten vehicle noise limits for cars, lorries and buses with a proposal expected before September 2011. HEAL and T&E welcomed the announcement but called for <a href="" class="spip_out">more ambitious standards</a>, to reduce the impacts on health from traffic noise pollution.</p> <p class="spip"><span class='spip_document_2632 spip_documents spip_documents_center' > <img src='' width="320" height="240" alt="" /></span><br></p> <p class="spip">Philippe Jean, acting director of the European Commission’s Enterprise Department, told the <a href="" class="spip_out">conference</a> that the Commission plans to cut noise emissions from cars by 4 decibels and from lorries by 3 decibels. The new limits would come into force within four years of a new Vehicle Noise Directive being agreed, he said.</p> <p class="spip"><span class='spip_document_2631 spip_documents spip_documents_center' > <img src='' width="320" height="240" alt="" /></span><br></p> <p class="spip">The conference’s second panel had three experts present the latest findings on the health impacts of environmental noise. Dr. Rokho Kim from the World Health Organisation WHO, Prof. Stephen Stansfeld from ENNAH, and Dr. Mette Sorensen from the Danish Institute for Cancer Epidemiology showed the numerous ways noise from transport and industry sources can impact adult’s and children’s health. The presentations made clear that environmental noise is a critical public health problem.</p> <p class="spip">On 6 July 2011, experts, researchers and policy makers will gather in Brussels to discuss specifically future research needs as part of the European Network on Noise and Health ENNAH final conference.</p> 2011-06-01T10:28:59Z text/html en