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HEAL Newsflash - Summer 2012

EU Commission off their game

Halfway through its term in office, the European Commission is falling behind to create sustainable long-term prosperity in Europe. Green 10, a platform of environmental organizations active at EU level, of which HEAL is a member, launched their assessment of the Commission’s environmental (health) performance since 2010. Learn more…

ENVI vote on EU Public Health Financing

Members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety adopted their position on the proposal for EU financing for public health activities 2014 onwards. In their position on the Health for Growth Programme MEPs stress that environmental factors need to be considered in disease prevention. Learn more…

Health conclusions from ‘The Future We Want’ Rio+20 outcome document

Civil society groups from all over the world voiced disappointment on the outcomes of the UN conference on sustainable development. While the document “The Future We want” lacks concrete objectives and timelines, HEAL is nevertheless pleased to see that health has gained a more prominent role in the lead up to Rio. Learn more…

Special WHO meeting on the implementation of children’s environmental health commitments

In 2010, health and environment ministers from the 53 countries of the WHO European region committed to measures to protect especially children’s health from environmental threats in the Parma Declaration and Commitment to Act. This includes for the first time-bound goals. Ministry representatives and stakeholders met recently to discuss progress on the implementation regarding the definition of indicators to measure progress. Learn more…

Health and Environment Priorities of the Cypriotic EU Presidency

On 1st July, the Republic of Cyprus took over the Presidency of the EU and presented their environmental and health priorities. HEAL hopes the next 6 months will provide for many opportunities to show why environmental prevention measures are good for both health and the economy. Learn more…

Green Stimulus Measures needed to Exit Crisis, warn leading environmental groups

Ahead of the EU Summit, the Green 10 network of leading environmental organizations encouraged EU heads of government to break the link between the banking and the sovereign debt crises. They welcome that the debate is moving towards an EU stimulus agenda, and urge that such a plan must halt the destruction of natural wealth and its harmful impacts on human health. Learn more…

EU high level conference on EDCs – the tipping point?

The European Commission held a high level conference “Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals: Current challenges in science and policy" on June 11-12. The presentations and discussion made clear that a tipping point had been reached in the science since the Weybridge meeting held in 1996. Learn more…

European Environment Agency reviews endocrine disruptors’ impacts

Given growing evidence of health problems deriving from exposure to hormone disruptors in the environment, the European Environment Agency’s “Weybridge+15” report reviews the impacts of endocrine disruptors on humans, wildlife and their environments. This updated compilation of technical papers and discussions underscores the importance of better understanding health risks in order to protect ourselves and wildlife from environmental contaminants. The full report can be found here.

Health impacts from coal power plants in Europe

HEAL is becoming increasingly concerned about scientific findings on the health impacts from coal plants, and has started to bring together reports and case studies in order to raise awareness with politicians and the general public on this problematic energy form. Learn more…

Take action

Submit data on Bisphenol-A in food contact materials

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is looking for data on the occurrence and migration of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in materials such as polycarbonate bottles and internal lining of cans. Member States, research institutions, academia, food business operators, packaging business operators and other stakeholders are invited to submit data on Bisphenol A, in particular on the occurrence data in food and beverages intended for human consumption, the migration data from food contact materials, and the occurrence data in food contacts materials.

Data should be transmitted using the EFSA web interface “Data Collection Framework (DCF) at by 31 July 2012. Act now!

Have your say on the future of EU noise policies

The EU Commission is consulting on future measures to reduce noise exposure, a key issue for public health protection. Citizens, experts and practitioners in public authorities, trade unions, NGOs, health experts and others are invited to comment on the effectiveness of the EU Environmental Noise Directive (END) and the future of EU noise policies. Potential measures that participants are invited to comment on include setting EU-wide noise limits or trigger values, and noise labels for road vehicles and houses. The consultation is part of the follow-up to an implementation report on the END from 2011.

The deadline to submit views is 25 September 2012. Act now!

Sign on to the PPTOX consensus statement on early life exposure

The scientific consensus statement from the recent ‘PPTOX’ conference on environmental and nutritional stressors in the developmental origins of disease is now open for signatures from scientists.

The paper highlights that because early development (in utero and during the first few years after birth) is particularly sensitive to disruption by exposures to chemicals in the environment and to imbalanced nutrition, with potentially adverse consequences for health later in life, both research and disease prevention strategies should focus more on these vulnerable life stages.

The paper is now open for further signatures from scientists, who can sign by sending their name, affiliation, and country to Act now!

Respond to the EU consultation on climate adaptation

The EU Commission has launched a public consultation that seeks to collect opinions from citizens, organisations and experts in the field of adaptation to climate change with a view to getting additional information for the preparation of the EU Adaptation Strategy. This Consultation on the Preparation of the EU Adaptation Strategy includes 20 questions covering aspects such as which groups might be most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, how the private sector should its actions, how member states should facilitate mitigating climate change, and more. The call for opinions is open until 20 August 2012. Act now!


Members’ News

Media coverage

Following Genon K. Jensen’s opening remarks on pollution at the Green10 mid-term review of the European Commission’s record on environmental issues, HEAL is featured in articles by Bloomberg and German and Spanish news agencies and in The, Europolitics and Chemicals Watch on 3 July 2012. The quoted Genon as saying: “that "swifter action" was needed, particularly in tackling air pollution which, she said, kills 500,000 people in Europe each year.”

Three months after our work with CHEM Trust in the promotion of their report on chemical exposures’ links to obesity and diabetes, 14 new links have been added to the media coverage (two global, 12 European) including a new country, Central African Republic. Full report.


  • 6-11 July 2012 - Cape Town, South Africa: The Third Peoples Health Assembly (PHA3)
  • 25 July 2012 – CHE Conference Call: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals - New Directions in Science and Policy
  • 11-13 September – Berlin, Germany: Low Dose Effects and Non-Monotonic Dose Responses for Endocrine Active Chemicals: Science to Practice
  • 5-6 December – Paris, France: Third national congress of the French Society for environmental health
  • 10-11 December– Paris, France: International conference on recent advances on the environmental and health effects of endocrine disrupters

Last updated on 20 August 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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Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
Press: Elke Zander

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