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HEAL Newsflash - June 2012

HEAL welcomes Environment Ministers’ inclusion of “health protection” in 7th EAP

The Health and Environment Alliance strongly supports the EU Environment ministers’ call for environmental policy measures, which will help prevent rising rates of chronic disease, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, in the 7th Environmental Action Programme. The conclusions urge the Commission to address health and environment in the forthcoming 7th EAP proposal “to ensure the continuation and enhancement of policies to protect human health and the environment.” Learn more …

Rio+20: Reinforcing the link between environment & health

World leaders and NGOs come together this week in Rio de Janeiro for the UN conference on sustainable development. In the run up to Rio+20, health benefits of sustainability and de-carbonisation have gained increased prominence. HEAL hopes that the health economic arguments will be a driver for a good outcome. Learn more…

A joint declaration on reducing vehicle noise

Traffic noise is one of the most widespread environmental problems in the European Union, affecting the health of one in three EU citizens. HEAL and other transport and environmental groups have launched a joint declaration to build support for a five step programme which will substantially reduce noise. The declaration is supported by many cities in Europe and is launched prior to European Parliament decisions on vehicle noise planned for the next weeks. Learn more …

Child Safety Report Cards: How much progress?

Protecting children’s health from environmental threats has been at the heart of the WHO Environment and Health process in the recent years. At the last ministerial meeting in Parma, environment and health ministers from 53 countries of the European Region agreed for the first time on time bound targets and goals for children in areas such as water and sanitation, physical exercise and chemical safety. The 2012 Child Safety report cards assess 29 European countries fare in preventing the risks of children’s injuries. Learn more…

Response to European Commission’s position on chemical mixtures

Health environmental and consumer groups expressed their deep concern at the Communication from the European Commission on people’s exposure to mixtures of chemicals, the so-called “cocktail effect”, especially as it relates to endocrine disrupting chemicals. Learn more…

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. Learn more…

Scientists emphasize chemical and nutritional origins of common diseases

The scientific consensus statement from the recent ‘PPTOX’ conference on environmental and nutritional stressors in the developmental origins of disease has been published in the journal ‘Environmental Health’. Signed by 33 scientists, the paper entitled ‘Developmental Origins of Non-Communicable Disease: Implications for Research and Public Health’, is now open for further signatures. Learn more ...

Preventing cancer incidence starts with a strong chemicals policy

A new study of the Flemish Cancer League (Vlaamse Liga tegen Kanker – VLK) analyses in depth the implications of chemicals policy on cancer incidence. It stresses the importance of strong EU legislation to reduce exposure to hazardous chemicals which will have effects at local and national level. Learn more …

EU Energy Efficiency Directive: an opportunity for health and climate protection

Prior to the final negotiations on the EU Energy Efficiency Directive HEAL sent a letter to energy and health ministers arguing that the EED provides a vital opportunity to close the gap to the 20% target, but must be made considerably more ambitious than the Council currently foresees. At present rates of progress, the EU will miss its target to reduce energy consumption by 20% by 2020 by at least half. This would mean missing out on a great many direct and indirect health-related co-benefits, linked to better air quality and less fuel poverty. Learn more …

WHO conference on climate change and health: Lessons learnt in the European Region

HEAL gave a presentation and led a working group on raising awareness for climate change and health at the WHO European Region workshop from 4-6 June 2012. The meeting brought together representatives of 53 countries to discuss progress made and current needs of the health sector in climate change adaptation as well as the potential contribution of the health sector in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more …

Videos of presentations, workshops and testimonies of pesticides and health conference

In March HEAL member Generations Futures organized a high level conference in the French senate on pesticides and health entitled: ’Which ways of improvement are possible?’. Its aim was to bring the voice of health-affected groups to the debate. HEAL was one of the co-sponsors of the event. A compilation has been made of most of the presentations, workshops and studio interviews which took place at the two-day conference. Learn more …

Take action

Sign on to the Joint Declaration on vehicle noise!

This five step plan is a ‘sound investment’ in noise, given that it will reduce traffic noise levels by half in urban areas. Urge members of the European Parliament and EU Member States to seize this once in a lifetime opportunity to substantially and cost-effectively improve the health and wellbeing of EU citizens. Act now!

Stop fracking in Europe before the damage is done!

The European Commission is taking a “wait-and-see” approach on the use of hydraulic fracking and shale gas, which will allow the shale gas industry to continue exploring and to start extracting shale gas. Tell the European Commission that you don’t want this extreme source of high-carbon energy, shale gas, to be developed in the EU. Fill out and/or edit the letter as you wish. It will be sent directly to the responsible EU commissioners. Act now!

Be involved in public consultation with new scientific evidence on risks of phthalates DINP and DIDP

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has launched a public consultation on a draft report reviewing the science on phthalates, DINP and DIDP. ECHA is looking for new and relevant scientific evidence that may not have been assessed. Once this consultation period is over, ECHA’s Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) will give a scientific opinion on the draft report taking into account comments received from the public. Comment on the draft report by 31 July 2012. Act now!

Respond to the EU consultation on climate adaptation

The EU Commission has launched a public consultation that seeks to collect opinions from citizens, organisations and experts in the field of adaptation to climate change with a view to getting additional information for the preparation of the EU Adaptation Strategy. This Consultation on the Preparation of the EU Adaptation Strategy includes 20 questions covering aspects such as which groups might be most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, how the private sector should its actions, how member states should facilitate mitigating climate change, and more. The call for opinions is open until 20 August 2012. Act now!

Members’ news


Media coverage


  • 28 June - Webinar (18h CEST Geneva): Cutting carbon, improving health
  • 1 July - Nürnberg, Germany: Conference on heavy metals and chronic diseases: new therapeutic approaches
  • 6-11 July 2012 - Cape Town, South Africa: The Third Peoples Health Assembly (PHA3)
  • September
  • 11-13 September - Berlin, Germany: Low Dose Effects and Non-Monotonic Dose Responses for Endocrine Active Chemicals: Science to Practice

Last updated on 9 July 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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