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HEAL Newsflash - November 2011


Environment & health

WHO European environmental health task force targets three international policy dialogues

The first meeting of the high level WHO European Environment and Health Task Force (EEHTF) took place in Bled, Slovenia and HEAL provided expertise on chronic disease and environmental prevention, energy options and public health implications, climate and Sustainable Development. Learn more.

UN Rio+20 asked to address environmental health

HEAL has given input into the preparation process for Rio+20, a conference which will review progress on achieving sustainable development 20 years after the original 1992 Rio de Janeiro conference. The conference will take place in Rio, 4-6 June 2012. There are many reasons why “health” needs to be central to the Rio+20 process and four concrete ways to achieve this. Learn more.

Progress on first EU human biomonitoring project

The European Union funded COPHES project, which is developing a framework for EU Human Biomonitoring (HBM), is holding a week of activities from 28 November to 2 December. Learn more.


French national authority report prompts BPA ban in food contact materials

Environment and health groups welcome the French National Assembly’s vote to ban bisphenol A (BPA) in all food contact materials from 2014. The decision, which now goes to the French Senate, followed the publication of a report by the French National Agency for Food Safety, Environment and Labour (ANSES). The report stated that low dose exposure to BPA resulted in health effects in sensitive populations. Learn more.

HEAL staff interviewed in TV film “Citizens against cancer”

Genon Jensen and Lisette van Vliet from HEAL are interviewed as representatives of citizens’ and scientists’ groups in the Swiss television documentary, “Les citoyens contre le cancer - Citizens against cancer, Temps Present, TSR, 2011 (available for viewing online, see below) as a result of HEAL’s work on Environmental Prevention of Cancer during the Paris Appeal Third International Congress. Learn more.


EU agricultural reform needs to be greener

When the European Commission released its new proposal for future of EU farm subsidies and agricultural production, HEAL welcomed certain elements but said it did not go far enough on reducing farming’s dependency on pesticides and other chemicals. Learn more.

Climate change

Putting health on the climate change agenda

HEAL is involved in supporting three initiatives aimed at raising awareness on health and climate change in the lead-up to the Durban climate change talks in November 2011. Learn more.

Air quality

Ensuring good air quality outdoor and indoor

Air pollution in Europe continues to be a massive public health problem, so it is good to see that air quality is receiving increased political attention. HEAL is part of a DG Environment stakeholder group, which has been formed as part of the review process of EU air policy. Learn more.


For updates on mercury see information in the "Member’s News" section.

Other issues

For updates on other issues see information in the "Take Action" section.


Take Action

First-ever opportunity to comment on proposed ban of combined phthalates in products

The European Chemicals Agency is conducting a public consultation on a proposed ban of certain articles containing a combination of four phthalates (DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP). This consultation is very important as it is the first proposal for a ban under REACH of several chemicals in certain consumer products due to their combined effects. Read more.

Sign up to the BMJ Health, Climate and Security statement for urgent action on climate change

This far reaching statement was issued at a conference on the health and security implications of climate change in London on 17th October 2011, and signed by leading scientists, doctors and advocacy groups. Add your name to this growing list before the Durban climate negotiations. Sign up here.

Submit Case Studies in Good Practice for Environmental Health of Children & Youth

WECF together with HEAL are working to build examples of Good Practices on youth and children’s involvement in environment and health issues, following a project by UNEP in cooperation with other international organisations involved in the Health & Environment policy process. Read more and submit examples here.

Media coverage

Member’s News

Last updated on 15 November 2011

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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