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HEAL Newsflash - September 2012

Achievements for better health through a healthy environment (HEAL Annual review 2011)

Discover HEAL’s latest annual review – fresh of the press! It showcases examples of environmental health prevention achievements in our policy areas chemicals, pesticides/biocides, air quality, climate change and how we work with our members. Learn more …

Listen to your doctor: setting strict vehicle noise standards for better health

The British Medical Association (BMA) has just urged that health be prioritized in transport planning and policy decisions. BMA’s concerns tie into a recent study from Denmark on increased heart attack risk because of road traffic noise. As MEPs are about to vote on reducing vehicle noise HEAL hopes they will listen to the voices from the health and medical community for stricter standards. Learn more …

Croatia: Environmental health prevention opportunities through EU accession

Croatia’s upcoming EU membership provides for many benefits for people’s health through better environmental protection. Yet conclusions from a recent conference on environment & health in Zagreb state the country will have to make greater efforts at better implementation of the EU environmental laws and inclusion of civil society to do so. Learn more …

Better policy uptake of scientific results

Participants from national health and environmental ministries and agencies, researchers, NGOs and policy-makers came together for the final conference of the ERA-ENVHEALTH network in Paris to discuss future research priorities on health effects of environmental pollution and how scientists can foster better uptake of research in policy discussions. HEAL gave a keynote presentation. Learn more …

Policy workshop: Chronic diseases and Endocrine disruptors (EDCs)

A growing body of scientific evidence links endocrine disruptors (EDCs) to chronic diseases. A policy workshop that HEAL is organizing on 14 September aims to highlight the science and tools on the links between EDCs and chronic diseases, and the important role that groups working on these diseases can play in this critical dossier for human health. Learn more ...

NGO comments on the RAC and SEAC opinion on the Danish phthalate dossier

HEAL and eight other European NGOs wrote an open letter to the Environment and the Health Commissioners criticising recent ECHA committee opinions which concluded that the Danish proposal to restrict four phthalates in consumer goods was not justified. Learn more …

New scientific study reveals adverse effects of mixtures of pesticides

The term “cocktail effect” is commonly used to describe possible effects from being exposed to a mixture of chemical substances, for example, several different pesticides in food. HEAL member Générations Futures (GF) has facilitated a new study on impacts of pesticides mixtures on cells. The work builds on the Toxics Menu report on pesticides contamination of daily children’s meals, which was launched by HEAL and GF in December 2010. Learn more …

Australian co-benefits report prominently mentions HEAL & HCWH Acting NOW! Report

A new report puts the spotlight on co-benefits of climate change mitigation to be reaped for Australia. It effectively reframes the current discussions from climate costs to climate benefits, particularly for people’s health and healthcare systems. Learn more …

EU debates measures for climate change adaptation

Climate change will have an impact on the environment and on human health. The EU Commissioner for Climate is developing an EU Adaptation Strategy and asked for public input. HEAL took this opportunity to offer comments and tools and also supported other organizations with their submission. Learn more …

Policy Workshop: EU Year of Air – how can we reduce air pollution to improve health?

While there have been some improvements in air quality in Europe, air pollution continues to be a massive public health problem, which is responsible for nearly half a million deaths each year in the European Union alone. On 13 September, HEAL is organising a policy workshop for an exchange on health effects of air pollution, on what is being planned for the EU Year of Air 2013 and on how groups can become involved in EU policy decisions for cleaner air. Learn more...

Global Mercury treaty: it’s time for action on health

In early July, the European Union, Canada, USA and other high income countries opposed a separate health provision during the fourth (of five) negotiating meetings for a global mercury treaty in Uruguay. Latin American countries had proposed a separate article calling for health programs to identify and protect populations at risk, through the development and implementation of health-based guidelines to reduce mercury exposure. The global Mercury Convention is anticipated to be finally agreed in January 2013 at the fifth negotiation session in Geneva. Learn more …

Other Issues:

HEAL is recruiting!

HEAL is currently recruiting a mid-level Communications and Campaigns Officer to take the lead on the coordination of HEAL’s communication tools, which are key to our work in promoting public health through a healthy environment in Europe and beyond. If you or someone you know might be interested in this position please forward this message along. Learn more and see how to apply!

Members’ News

European Lung Foundation: New study shows exposure to common toxic substances could increase asthma symptoms

EFA event at the European Parliament "May Contain/Contains - Food Allergen Labelling"

PAN Europe publishes new report on the derogations of illegal pesticides granted by EU Member States

Fundacion Vivo sano : Spanish survey on consumer perceptions around chemicals and health

Malta Health Network & EPHA present «A taste of Europe: Introducing EU Health policy and how civil society can advocate for better health at EU level»

EPHA position on the European Commission’s 7th Environment Action Programme

C2DS Guideline “Better Practices, Guideline for the Health Sector”

Take action

  • Spread the WHO advice and action plans on European severe heat-wave
  • Triclosan in cosmetic products
  • Have your say on the future of EU noise policies
  • Public consultation: Update of the European Union’s Implementation Plan for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
  • Call for experts on the safety of the use of dental amalgam and its substitutes
  • EEA seeks five new members of its Scientific Committee


For more information on the following events click here.

  • 10–13 September – Malta: The sixty-second session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe
  • 11 September – Malta: « A taste of Europe: Introducing EU Health policy and how civil society can advocate for better health at EU level »
  • 11-12 September - Szentendre, Hungary: SINPHONIE final conference
  • 13 September – Brussels, Belgium: Policy Workshop: EU Year of Air – how can we reduce air pollution to improve health?
  • 14 September – Brussels, Belgium: Policy Workshop: Chronic Diseases and Endocrine Disruptors (EDCs)
  • 17 September – Paris, France: Conference “From HUMAN BIOMONITORING to European and national policies: meeting the MS representatives”
  • 17 -21 September – Nairobi, Kenya: Third session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM3)
  • 19 September – Brussels, Belgium: EFA event at the European Parliament "May Contain/Contains - Food Allergen Labelling"
  • 22-25 October - Larnaca, Cyprus: Conference on "Human Biomonitoring (HBM) – Linking Environment to Health and Supporting Policy
  • 25 September – Brussels, Belgium: Evening reception on “20 years of protecting Europe’s nature - €3 cents for the future of Natura 2000”
  • 26-28 September - Malmo, Sweden: CleanMed Europe 2012
  • 25 October – Brussels, Belgium: ECERI General Assembly
  • 12-15 November – Bolinas, USA: Training on reproductive health and environmental health sciences

Media coverage

HEAL’s Executive Director Genon Jensen was quoted in the British Medical Journal with her assessment of the environmental health track record of the EU Commission 2009-12. The midterm review brought together by Green 10 the alliance of 10 leading European non-governmental organizations, of which HEAL is a member, received widespread media coverage. More than 20 articles were published on the review.


HEAL Annual review 2011: Achievements for better health through a healthy environment

Last updated on 6 September 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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Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
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B1000 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
Press: Elke Zander

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