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Scientists’ Appeal on children’s environment and health

3rd Paris Appeal International Congress; Children’s health and the environment. 12 - 13 April 2011 at UNESCO, 125 avenue de Suffren, 75015 Paris

Since the first Paris Appeal conference, thousands of scientists and citizens have signed the consensus statement, demonstrating their concern about the effects of a deteriorating environment on public health. The 2011 congress focused on children’s health and environment sought to bring home the message to both policy-makers and the public about the urgency to act now. HEAL stressed the need for cutting exposure to harmful chemicals in order to better protect children.

Paris Appeal congresses bring together the biggest group of international experts on how the environment affects health in Europe. The conclusions from these meetings are based on the very latest science. Such statements provide a solid foundation for advocates to push for better laws and pilot projects that show what needs to be done. Strong representation from the medical community at the congresses shows recognition of the need to see policy change.

This year, about two thirds of participants were paediatricians and health professionals, including general practitioners, midwives and nurses. Participants also included scientists, politicians, and representatives of international and governmental organisations and non-governmental organisations. Thirteen members of HEAL took part (see photos here), and many were featured as speakers throughout the programme.

Speakers from around the world addressed the links between exposure to environmental pollutants in children and in utero with worrying trends in the rise of cancer, developmental problems and congenital abnormalities, declining fertility in young men, high rates of asthma and allergy; exposures covered included carcinogens and endocrine disrupting chemicals, electromagnetic fields, GMOs, and mercury, heaving metals and solvents.

Génon Jensen, Executive Director of the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) gave a presentation that highlighted HEAL’s work in analysing, promoting and disseminating latest findings of health and environment research to policy makers and other important groups, and the policy successes. She provided pointers on how participants at the Congress could become involved in the work of HEAL. Genon also took part in a press conference on the first day of the Congress, which resulted in the article pasted below by Agence France Presse, France’s biggest news agency.

Accompanying documents:
- HEAL press release: Protect children by cutting exposure to harmful chemicals
- HEAL Briefing: Children’s health and the environment
- HEAL position paper: Preventing cancer through environmental policy change
- Paris Appeal Programme

HEAL campaigns, projects and materials:
- Cancer and Environment Week 2010
- Chemical Cocktails; harmful mixtures upset our hormones
- Chemicals Health Monitor
- "Sick of pesticides" campaign raises awareness of the health impacts of pesticides.



Written on 29 April 2011.

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Resources on this issue:

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Members active on this issue:

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Contact person at HEAL:

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Health and Environment Quiz

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Healthier environments for children

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Health and environment primer

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Useful links: