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HEAL Newsflash - March 2016

The Unpaid Health Bill: How coal power plants in the Western Balkans make us sick HEAL launched the first-ever estimates of the huge health costs associated with air pollution from coal power plants in the Western Balkans this week. The costings of health damage should prompt a rethink on the EU’s policy approach to the region. Read more…

Endocrine disruptors: ‘Better Regulation’ or better public health? Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) pose a substantial risk to public health, yet the EU Commission has delayed time and again on introducing measures that would finally limit their use. Now is the time to put this right, writes HEAL’s Genon Jensen and CHEM Trust’s Michael Warhurst in a new blog. Read more…

Conflict of interest at the European Food Safety Authority
In an open letter seven EU organisations urge the European Parliament’s Budget Control Committee to postpone EFSA’s budget discharge due to its refusal to adopt meaningful measures to ban conflicts of interest among its experts and protect itself from undue influence. Read more…

Act on EDCs: EDC-Free Europe calls on Environment Ministers
Ahead of the March EU Environment Council meeting, the EDC-Free Europe coalition sent a letter to Environment Ministers urging them to a make a strong statement to the EU Commission to immediately comply with the ruling of the European Court of Justice on scientific criteria to identify endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Read more…

Dutch public health institute advises government to reduce BPA exposure
HEAL welcomes a new report on Bisphenol A (BPA) published by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. The report confirms a long standing call for more EU and national action to greatly decrease our everyday exposure to BPA, and urges the Dutch government to therefore reduce our exposure in the short term wherever possible. Read more…

Open letter to member state experts on phthalates ahead of REACH Committee vote
Ahead of ECHA’s REACH committee vote this week, public health concerns feature in a joint letter to member state experts urging support for the identification of four phthalates as EDCs and a rejection of authorisation for the use of DEHP in recycled consumer articles. Read more…

EU Commissioner for Health meets with Endocrine Society Members on EDCs
Last month Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU Health Commission hosted members of the Endocrine Society who offered their scientific expertise on the Commission’s process to develop criteria to identify EDCs. The Endocrine Society recent Scientific Statement was shared, demonstrating that EDCs are an important public health threat. Read more…

Vote for re-authorisation of glyphosate postponed
Earlier this month, several environmental, health and other NGOs including HEAL delivered to the EU Health Commissioner and Member State representatives 174,000 signatures to ban glyphosate. The good news is that that the vote by Member States on whether to renew the EU authorisation for glyphosate for another 15 years has been postponed. Read more…

Open Letter on Glyphosate to National Representatives on the Standing Committee on Plant Animal Food and Feed
On 16 March, HEAL signed an open letter to national representatives of the Standing Committee on Plant Animal and Feed (PAFF) to submit amendments to their proposed renewal of the glyphosate marketing authorisation in the EU, after the postponed vote last week. Read more…

Homes close to pesticide spraying show all year exposure
Results of a recent dust survey by HEAL member Générations Futures show the urgent need to implement decisions taken under the European regulation on pesticides and within the French national strategy on EDCs. The survey addressed if people living in agricultural areas using synthetic chemicals in cultivation were permanently exposed to pesticides even in their homes. Read more…

Save the date! Pesticide Action Week 2016
The 11th edition of Pesticide Action week to which HEAL is a partner, takes place from 20 – 30 March with a specific focus on health and pesticide free towns. Biodiversity, natural gardening, organic food, and agricultural techniques will be highlighted but the main focus will be on the impacts of pesticides on health and promoting alternatives. Read more…

Call for Higher Climate Ambition in Europe
A major new coalition of businesses, cities, trade unions and non-profit organisations, including HEAL, are calling on EU leaders to live up to their Paris climate commitments. Read more…

Info-graphics: Coal pollution and health
With a series of info-graphics, HEAL in Poland explains why the problem of smog and air pollution, particularly from coal power plants is so serious to health. Poland is one of the countries with the heaviest smog levels in Europe. Read more…

Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution in the UK
A recent report by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health examines the impact of air pollution across the course of a lifetime. It sets out the dangerous impact air pollution is currently having on our health of citizens in the UK. Read more…

Members’ news

- Breast Cancer UK – BPA ‘presumed’ reproductive toxicant

- WECF – Women call for better protection from hazardous chemicals worldwide

- PAN Europe and Generations Future – Glyphosate re-authorisation: NGOs join forces to demand legal action for fraud against Monsanto, BfR and EFSA

- EFA – Test your allergies at the European Parliament

- EPHA - Save the date! 2016 Annual Conference


- The Unpaid Health Bill - How coal power plants make us sick in the Western Balkans

- Infographics: Coal pollution and health (Polish)

Events 2016


- 17 - 18, Brussels, Belgium: EU Summit

- 22, Brussels, Belgium: Glyphosate and Cancer, MEPs Against Cancer

- 20 - 30: Pesticide Action Week


- 5 – 12, Paris, France: International Environmental Film Festival

- 7: World Earth Day

- 11 - 14, Strasbourg, France: European Parliament plenary

- 14 - 17, Berlin, Germany: 2nd International Conference on Human Biomonitoring

- 20: European Parkinson’s Disease Day

- 21: Earth Day

- 21 - 22, Helsinki, Finland: ECHA ED Expert Group

Take Action

- WeMove.EU - Petition to EU to ban glyphosate

- Climate change calls to action

- Consultation on the evaluation of the environmental noise directive

HEAL in the media

- Zbog rada bh. termoelektrana umiru hiljade ljudi, Al Jazeera TV
Tuzla, 15 March 2016

- [Expensive Coal (in the Western Balkans), Politico
15 March 2016 (subscription)

- Dutch health ministry backs call for tighter standards on BPA, Chemical Watch
10 March 2016

- Kankerverwekkend maar toch zegt België ja (Carcinogenicity but Belgium says yes), De Standaard
6 March 2016

- Presentarán 174.000 firmas a UE contra reautorización del pesticida glifosato (174,000 signatories to the EU against reauthorisation of glyphosate), La Vanguardia
4 March 2016

- Endocrine disruptors: ‘Better Regulation’ or better public health? Euractiv
3 March 2016

- Lethal effects, now and in the future, Sunday’s Zaman
26 February 2016

- Gift in Shampoos und Cremes (Poison in shampoos and creams) SWR Fernsehen (German TV)
24 February 2016

HEAL tweets
- Over 174,000 Europeans say NO to #glyphosate - a strong message to protect our #health!
- Did you know HEAL released a toolkit on #coal plant generation & #health in #Turkey? …
- Plenty of reasons to ban #glyphosate! Make your voice heard - sign our petition!
- Help us prevent #cancer - ask your government to act on #glyphosate! #EUEDC

Originally posted on 17 March 2016

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 »

Contact us

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
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Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
Press: Elke Zander

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