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A toxics-free future!

As world leaders come together for the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development, HEAL and many other civil society organizations from around the globe urge them to agree on good outcomes to reduce exposure to hazardous chemicals. The Global Common Statement for a Toxics-Free Future was initiated by the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN) to elevate public awareness and catalyze political leadership for action to protect families, communities, workers and the environment from hazardous chemicals today, for a more hopeful tomorrow.

There is an urgent need to elevate global concerns about the rising tide of toxics in our lives, and the harm being caused. A WHO media release states diseases such as cancer, heart disease, reproductive and developmental disorders, asthma, autism, diabetes, degenerative diseases and mental health illnesses have been linked to the pollution of air, water, soil and food, as well as toxic consumer products and wastes.

A majority of the pesticides and industrial chemicals are still not been adequately tested for their impact on human health and the environment, particularly in the area of emerging concerns that challenge the central dogma of toxicology such as endocrine disruption, ongoing low dose exposures, and the impacts of chemicals mixtures. HEAL recently expressed deep concern at a European Commission Communication on people’s exposure to mixtures of chemicals, the so-called “cocktail effect”, especially as it relates to endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Peoples’ right to a healthy planet and a sustainable future are being affected by exposure to toxic chemicals which may cause cancer, birth defects, impaired development, negative impacts on the immune system, neurotoxicity and metabolic impairment. In addition the statement stresses that persistent and bioaccumulative chemicals remain in the human body long after exposure and can be passed from mother to baby, in utero and via breast milk, and can cross the blood brain barrier to affect a child’s central nervous system and its development.

Sign on to this global effort for a toxics-free future:

Originally posted on 20 June 2012

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 »


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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