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HEAL Newsletter - Edition 1, January 2018

How does the environment affect our health? A foreword by HEAL’s Executive Director Génon K. Jensen for Pan European Networks
HEAL kicks off the new year by sharing a foreword with readers of the magazine Pan European Networks, in which our Executive Director Génon K. Jensen reflects on past achievements and future challenges for environmental health in Europe and beyond. Read more…

Arrest of leaders of the Turkish Medical Association (TMA)
HEAL stands with the World Medical Association and the Standing Committee of European Doctors in expressing grave concern over the arrest of TMA representatives.

EU Presidency: Bulgaria should walk the talk on air quality
Health groups are dismayed at Bulgaria’s decision to join a Polish legal challenge on stricter air emission standards (LCP BREF), when the country has proclaimed clean air as one of the priorities of the EU Presidency. Read more...

HEAL Goes Global - What does it take to beat pollution? (video)
Watch HEAL’s Vijoleta Gordeljevic and Eva Takaria discuss with civil society, governments and stakeholders how different forms of pollution impact people’s lives and why everyone should care about beating pollution, during the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya. Read more...

Global Climate and Health Alliance (GCHA) publishes summary of proceedings from the 2017 Climate and Health Summit
The 2017 Global Climate and Health Summit, which HEAL helped organise, brought together health actors from around the world to discuss the importance of highlighting health in the climate debate. Read and share the presentations and sessions. Read more...

Europeans will remain exposed to Bisphenol A in food packaging
HEAL regrets the European Parliament’s green light to a piece of legislation that fails to protect citizens’ health. HEAL launched an online campaign prior to the vote, highlighting the evidence on the adverse health effects of Bisphenol A, even at low doses, and the opportunity to get the toxics out of the economy to be truly circular. Read more…

Human exposure to preventable environmental chemicals is resulting in health costs of 10% of global GDP
A paper published in the peer reviewed journal Environmental Health December 2017 outlines the health costs associated with exposure to chemical substances in our everyday environment. Read more…

HEAL joins NGO proposal for a protocol on chemicals in products ahead of SAICM global chemicals negotiations
Ahead of UN Environment negotiations on global chemicals management (SAICM), HEAL together with environmental and health NGOs calls for a legal instrument on the transparency of hazardous chemicals in products. HEAL will participate in SAICM meetings in Paris, Lodz and Stockholm in February and March, 2018. Read more...

EU Member States adopt revised EDC proposal - A step in the right direction, but not enough
EU Member States voted in favour of a European Commission proposal on identification criteria for endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in December 2017, which will leave human health at risk. Read more…

ED Guidance consultation: Health protective identification of endocrine disrupting chemicals - A challenge under current implementation plans
A public consultation on the guidance document for the application of the identification criteria of EDCs closed on 31 January 2018. HEAL regrets the proposed approach, which will make the identification of EDCs even more challenging. Read more…

CAPE President and GCHA board member, Dr. Courtney Howard, takes on the biggest health emergency of this century on Tedx Talks
An inspiring physician from Canada, Dr. Courtney Howard takes the Tedx Talks stage to describe how climate change is harming people’s health and how addressing it could provide immediate health benefits. Read more…

Want to catch up on fossil fuel subsidies news? We got you covered!
It has been an interesting few months for efforts to end fossil fuel subsidies. Read HEAL’s special newsletter on the topic, and find out how you can get involved! Read more…

Europe Beyond Coal campaign - a 2017 round-up
HEAL is a partner in the Europe Beyond coal campaign, leading on the health input for this civil society effort to make Europe coal-free by 2030. Read more...

New HEAL briefing: Boosting health by improving air quality in the Balkans
In a new briefing, HEAL highlights how reducing air pollution from coal power plants in the Western Balkans would save thousands of lives annually. Read more...

EU Commission makes clean air a top priority
An air quality summit between Environment Commissioner Vella and nine EU environment ministers whose countries are in breach of EU air quality standards ended with Commissioner Vella declaring ‘it doesn’t get bigger than the loss of life due to air pollution’. Read more…

Chinese run for investments in the Balkans: Construction of new coal power plants threatens citizen’s health
Massive Chinese investments for the construction of a new coal power plant in Bosnia and Herzegovina could jeopardize local health and the environment. A HEAL technical briefing estimates that health costs would be up to 720 million EUR. Read more…

HEAL events put spotlight on health impacts from air pollution
HEAL recently organised two events, one in Poland, one in Germany, to present the latest evidence on how air pollution affects our health, and why children are particularly at risk. Read more...

Members’ news

- AIM (Association Internationale de la Mutualité) - AIM publishes position on the EU initiative to limit industrial trans fats intakes in Europe (position paper and video).

- EFA (European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations) - Our own homes are making us sick: Energy efficiency is part of the cure

- FNE (France Nature Environnement) - After cars, trucks are the new diesel scandal

- IBFAN - Latest news on contaminants in baby food

- INCHES - Invitation for 9th International Conference on Children’s Health and the Environment

- RES (Réseau Environnement Santé) - Paris leads the way by signing “Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Free Cities” charter

- WECF France - First edition of “Design-moi un jouet” contest: two teams of design students awarded for creating healthy toys

- WECF International - Gender, Chemicals and Waste high level event in Abuja, Nigeria

- WECF International - “What has gender got to do with chemicals” documentary gets broadcasted on Nigerian international television


- HEAL briefing: Boosting health by improving air quality in the Balkans (available in English & Bosnian), December 2017

- HEAL’s response to public consultation: European Commission roadmap on the review of the food contact materials legislation, December 2017

- Benefit assessment methodologies for the LCP BREF implementation (by Mike Holland, EMRC), January 2018

- Letter on decision to challenge air pollution control measures to Bulgarian ministers, January 2018

- Letter to Dutch Members of European Parliament: reject EC plans for BPA in food contact materials, January 2018

- HEAL urges MEPs to reject European Commission plans for Bisphenol A in food contact materials, January 2018


February 2018

- 4 February 2018: World Cancer Day
- 5 - 8 February 2018: European Parliament plenary session
- 9 February 2018: Regional meeting on the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), Paris
- 12 - 13 February 2018: WHO European Healthy Cities Network Summit of Mayors
- 27 February 2018: World NGO Day
- 28 February - 4 March 2018: DGVT Congress for clinical psychology, psychotherapy and consultation in Berlin, Germany

March 2018

- 5 March 2018: Environment Council meeting
- 8 March 2018: International Women’s Day
- 12 - 15 March 2018: European Parliament plenary session
- 13 - 15 March 2018: Second meeting of the intersessional process considering the Strategic Approach and sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 (SAICM)
- 15 March 2018: World Consumer Rights Day
- 20 - 21 March 2018: Armut und Gesundheit congress in Berlin, Germany

April 2018

- 7 April 2018: World Health Day, focusing on Universal Health Coverage
- 10 April 2018: Environment Council meeting

Take Action

- Follow our brand new HEAL Balkan pages on Facebook and Instagram

- Get involved and sign the Europe Beyond Coal petition for faster action on coal!

- Help us spread the word about fossil fuels subsidies and get involved in our ‘Choose Health, End Fossil Fuel Subsidies’ campaign

- Become a supporter of the EDC-Free Europe coalition!

HEAL in the media

- Call for ban on food packaging chemical, Times of Malta, 13 January 2018

- l’Union européenne adopte une définition des perturbateurs endocriniens, Le Monde, 13 December 2017

- Endocrine-disrupting chemicals: turning political deadlock into an opportunity for human health protection and innovation, Chemical Watch, 14 December 2017

- Our own homes are making us sick: Energy efficiency is part of the cure, Euractiv, 19 December 2018

- Macedonia introduces emergency measures as smog chokes capital, Reuters, 28 December 2017

- Germany’s delayed coal phase-out and respiratory health, The Lancet, 17 January 2018

HEAL tweets

- New study: costs of human exposure to environmental #chemicals (incl #endocrinedisruptors #neurotoxicants #pesticides) of at least 10% of global GDP - exposure must be reduced for #health protection and economic benefits #Grandjean #Bellanger

- Europeans will remain exposed to #BisphenolA in food packaging. Our reaction: #BPA #EDCFree

- World governments make citizens pay billions to destroy their own #health through #airpollution and #climatechange. An important aspect to #beatpollution is phasing out #fossilfuelsubsidies: #UNEA3 @UNEP @UNEP_EU

- 16 #coal power plants in the Western #Balkans produce as much #airpollution as all 296 coal plants in the EU. Read our recommendations for change:

Originally posted on 1 February 2018

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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Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
Press: Elke Zander

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