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FIFE film festival screens Endocrination and Zone Blanche

For the third year running, HEAL co-hosted a programme of health and environment documentaries and debates at the International Environmental Film Festival (FIFE) in Paris.

The sessions took place on 9 February 2015 with the aim of promoting understanding of the links between health and environmental issues.

This year, the selected documentaries were Endocrination, which charts the intensive industry lobbying that has impeded EU regulation of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), and Zone Blanche, which charts the difficulties faced by people who are sensitive to electromagnetic fields.

After the screening of Endocrination which filled the full cinema (right), film director Stéphane Horel and HEAL’s Senior Adviser on Chemicals and Chronic diseases Lisette van Vliet answered questions.

The audience wanted to know whether studies have demonstrated the impact of exposure to EDCs and whether anything could be done given the “David and Goliath” nature of the battle against industry.

Lisette pointed to the many available animal and in vitro studies and to the clear association that had been shown between maternal exposure to phthalates and the feminisation of baby boys. But she added that it was extremely difficult to do controlled studies given that everyone is living in “a soup of chemicals”. Stéphane said that public awareness of the issue was very important. She hoped that the terminology related to endocrine disruption would quickly enter into everyday language. Regulation would stimulate innovation, she said, and moving away from a fossil fuel economy would create jobs.

You can view the trailers in French and English on Youtube

More information on the film available here

The screening of Zone Blanche was followed by a discussion with Pauline Berthellemy from HEAL member Réseau Environnement Santé (RES) and with Sophie Pelletier, spokesperson for Electrosensitivity of France (Electrosensibles de France/Priartem). Sophie said that the effects of electromagnetic sensitivity ranged from pain associated with the use of a wireless telephone or wifi to very serious intolerance which excluded individuals excluded from everyday settings. She said that studies suggested that 10% of the worldwide population is affected by this condition. Pauline said that RES had helped form Alliance Maladies Environnementales Emergentes (AM2E) which supports PRIARTEM and other groups to gain recognition for these emerging environmental conditions and encourages support for medical treatment and research.

Information in French at

More information on HEAL’s involvement in the film festival here

Originally posted on 12 February 2015

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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 »


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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