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HEAL Newsflash - May 2012

Fracking: Groups call for precaution

Shale gas is a dangerous experiment for the environment and human health. In a joint position statement, HEAL and other environment and health groups are calling on EU member states to suspend existing ‘fracking’ projects and ban new ones. With the European Parliament preparing to adopt a resolution on fracking, groups urge Parliament to take a strong stand, and not to feed into the fossil fuel addiction. Learn more...

7th EAP: Will environment ministers deliver on E&H protection?

Deliberations on the 7th EU Environment Action Programme are intensifying. On 11 June, EU environment ministers will adopt their recommendations for the new programme. HEAL is pleased to see that both within the European Parliament and among Environment Ministers there is support for health&environment concerns. Yet this commitment needs to translate into concrete targets and actions, as well as adequate financing. Learn more...

Health impacts from noise on the EU agenda

Noise not only interferes with people’s daily activities at school, at work, at home and during leisure time but it also involves health risks which can cause sleep disturbance, hearing damage and heart disease. As the European Parliament is currently discussing a proposal to reduce vehicle noise, HEAL and others demand a more ambitious law to address the issue. Learn more...

Science and policy: Bridging the gap

Two upcoming international conferences will present key opportunities to make the link between research on environment and health (E&H) and its uptake by policy makers.The 3rd PPTOX conference on environmental exposures and development and the ERA-ENVHEALTH conference are an excellent opportunity to share new science and start various collaborations. Learn more...

US expert warns on feminisation of boys

Professor Shanna Swan, a leading US scientist and expert on phthalates, was at EU Parliament on 12 April 2012 to present EU decision makers with her latest research findings on the health impacts of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Professor Swan highlighted her work linking exposure to phthalates and a feminisation of boys exposed in utero. Learn more…

Industry asked for substitution case stories

Industry produces and uses tens of thousands of chemicals to make the products we use in our everyday lives. However, hundreds of those chemicals have been linked to serious adverse health effects, such as cancer, developmental disorders and infertility. Environmental, health, consumers and women’s organizations are calling on companies to provide substitution examples (or case stories) to an EU-funded project called SUBSPORT, where they can showcase their efforts in substituting hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives. Learn more…

Danish presidency event on health and climate

Danish health minister, Astrid Krag expressed great concern about the existing burden of disease that is linked to environmental pollution at a meeting organised during the Danish Presidency in Copenhagen on 25 April 2012. She said that fighting air pollution was an important instrument to decrease the burden for asthma patients. Learn more...

NGOs urge enforcement on air quality

HEAL and over 25 other NGOs urge commissioner Potočnik to take immediate action against those Member States who are breaching their obligations to comply with limit values set by the EU’s ambient air quality legislation. Every day, in many places across the EU, the limits for particulate matter (PM10) continue to be breached although EU legislation entered into force more than seven years ago. Learn more...

Take Action

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.

Submit opinions on nanosilver & antimicrobial resistance + nanomaterials in medical devices

The EU Scientific Committees are calling for information (publications, references) for an opinion they will make on nanosilver & antimicrobial resistance. Take action now!

Ensure consultation on future EU environment programme includes heath as a priority The European Commission has launched a public consultation to gather views on the 7th Environmental Action Programme (7th EAP), which will set out priority objectives for EU environmental policy to be pursued up until 2020. Review the consultation and give your input by June 1.

Members’ news


Media coverage

Annika Ahtonen at the European Policy Centre in Brussels cited HEAL’s findings on health co-benefits in her article “Creating a greener and healthier Europe - a policy blueprint” published in Public Service Review. She argues for greater alignment of health policy with environmental initiatives because of the intricate links between the two agendas.



  • 10 May - WHO series on Climate change and Health webinar: The role of health in sustainable development: Focus on Rio+20
  • 14-16 May - Paris, France: Conference on Prenatal Programming and Toxicity (PPTOX)
  • 16-18 May - Madrid, Spain: Congress on Risks for Public Health & the Environment
  • 31 May – 1 June - the Hague, the Netherlands: Extraordinary second meeting of the European Environment and Health Task Force on Parma follow-up indicators


  • 4-6 June - Bonn, Germany: Climate change and health: Lessons learnt in the WHO European Region
  • 4-6 June – France: World Environment Day: Talking Health!
  • 6 June - Brussels, Belgium: EPHA Annual Conference 2012 - Restructuring health systems: How to promote health in times of austerity?
  • 11-12 June - Utrecht, the Netherlands: ESCAPE meeting
  • 13-14 June - Paris, France: ERA-ENVHEALTH final conference
  • 14 June - Parma, Italy: EFSA’s 17th Scientific Colloquium on low dose response in toxicology and risk assessment
  • 15 June, Stockholm, Sweden: Why are we concerned about endocrine disruptors?
  • 20-22 June 2012 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20

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 »

Contact us

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
28 Boulevard Charlemagne
B1000 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
Press: Elke Zander

Direct telephone numbers: HEAL team page.

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