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HEAL Newsflash - October / November 2010

The Future of the Environment & Health Action Plan in Europe

On Tuesday 5th October HEAL hosted a policy event as part of our Annual General Assembly to discuss the future of the EU Environment and Health Action Plan (EHAP). As the current EHAP runs out at the end of this year, the session aimed to reflect on the political context for current and future environment and health work and to highlight policy opportunities for taking the agenda forward. Participants reiterated the call for a 2nd EHAP in order to ensure environment and health concerns continue to receive EU policy priority. Read more…

HEAL Annual General Assembly; five new members and a new Executive Committee!

HEAL’s 2010 Annual General Assembly, held in our Brussels office, welcomed over 35 health and environment experts and activists from across Europe. The two day interactive meeting discussed HEAL’s strategy for the upcoming years and allowed for HEAL members to highlight their activities. We also saw the election of a new HEAL Executive Committee for 2010-2012 and the introduction of 5 new member organisations from throughout the EU. Read more....

European film premiere: Living Downstream

29th & 30th November – HEAL will host a series of screenings of the groundbreaking film on cancer and the environment, Living Downstream, accompanied by seminars with world-renowned environmental scientist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber. Following the personal journey and scientific exploration of Sandra Steingraber, Living Downstream is a powerful reminder of the intimate connection between the health of our bodies and the health of our air, land and water. HEAL is really pleased to be able to bring this important film to Europe. Read more….

Four-language push to link pesticide use and cancer prevention

This month HEAL launched a multi-country, multi-language website to strengthen the impact of our Sick of Pesticides campaign. The campaign now covers Belgium, the Netherlands, France, the UK and Hungary, and will be coordinated by HEAL members and partners at national level. The Sick of Pesticides campaign, launched in 2008, aims to raise public awareness that reducing pesticide use could help reduce cancer rates in Europe, encourage pesticide-free public spaces, and support countries in the setting up of national action plans for pesticide use reduction by 2012 in accordance with EU regulations. The country partners will hold workshops at national level with other NGOs, health groups and local authorities to devise strategies. These will then be followed by a European network meeting in Brussels at the HEAL office on Tuesday 30th November 2010. Read more….

HEAL Team run for Clean air on Global Climate Action Day in EU capital!

Ahead of a crucial debate on air quality taking place in the European Commission in the next few weeks, HEAL and other NGOs joined forces with the green group European Environmental Bureau (EEB) to reiterate calls for an urgent upgrade of key air legislation. The Health and Environment groups took action in the novel form of a mini-run during the Brussels Marathon. Read more….

Health groups call for immediate revision of EU emissions law

HEAL and member organisations, the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS), have written a letter to Commissioner Janez Potočnik calling for the immediate revision of the National Emissions Ceilings (NEC) Directive to protect the health of EU citizens. With the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution (2005), the European Union has set ambitious goals for reducing air pollution by 2020. The revision of the NEC Directive was set to be the key instrument to achieve these objectives. However, adoption by the EU Commission of the revision proposal has repeatedly been postponed since 2007. Read more….


This month toxic chemicals made a splash in the international media. HEAL was featured in a major report on phthalates by the international news agency, Reuters. The report, The Problem with Phthalates, tackles the complex issue of the risks to male fertility from a group of chemicals found in everything from erasers to shoes. You can read the report here. Earlier this year HEAL’s Chemical Health Monitor project and CHEM Trust produced a series of publications on just this; Men Under Threat.

Our Sick of Pesticides campaigns also gained media coverage this month, featuring in leading environmental magazine, The Ecologist.

Last updated on 7 June 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 »

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