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New film on toxic-free future

Every day people unknowingly expose themselves to toxic chemicals. Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are chemical substances that persist in the environment, bioaccumulate through the food web. In April, a new film was launched to highlight the problem of POPs that pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment.

This new animation, designed by the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN), of which HEAL is a member, is designed to help the consumer understand the challenges of POPs. POPs are a group of highly toxic chemicals that are a danger to human health. Persistent in the environment, POPs can travel vast distances via air and water, and as they are organic chemical compounds they can bioaccumulate in animals and humans. Exposure to POPs can lead serious health effects including certain cancers, birth defects, dysfunctional immune and reproductive systems, greater susceptibility to disease and even diminished intelligence.

The new film, ‘Toxics-Free Future’ is a short 6 minute animation aimed at audiences new to the issues, and explains the POPs, the Stockholm Convention, and IPEN’s vision and operation. The film was developed by IPEN as a tool to present the complex issues simply and effectively.

The Stockholm Convention on POPs is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically and accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife. Given the long range transport of POPs, no one governing acting alone can protect is citizens or its environment from POPs. In response, the Stockholm Convention, adopted in 2001 and entered into force 2004, requires parties to take measures to eliminate or reduce the release of POPs into the environment. The Convention is administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP and based in Geneva, Switzerland.

After over a year in development the Toxics-Free Future Film is available to watch in the IPEN website – it will be available for download onto your computer very soon. The latter will make it possible to be used in power-point presentations or as just a visual tool when speaking to groups about POPs and IPEN.

Currently the film is available in English, but over time IPEN aim to make the film available in other languages via subtitles.

Watch the film, Toxics-Free Future here.

Last updated on 1 July 2011

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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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