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HEAL Newsletter - Edition 2, May 2017

EU limits permission to pollute for dirty coal - health gains in sight
Health, environment and climate groups have welcomed the decision by EU Member States of new air pollution standards (LCP BREF) which will force the coal industry to reduce their toxic fumes and save more than 20,000 lives every year. Read more…

Unmask my City: Health professionals urge authorities to fight pollution & unmask cities
The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is calling on city authorities to clean up the air in Europe as part of the “Unmask my City” campaign launched on World Asthma Day 2017. Read more…

The Europe we want: Just, Sustainable, Democratic and Inclusive
As we mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, HEAL joined other European civil society organisations to call on EU leaders to show leadership for a healthy environment for all.Read more...

HEAL participates in EU ‘Noise in Europe’ conference
More than 100 million people suffer from noise levels considered to have a negative effect on health in the EU. Member States’ representatives, scientists, and civil society to discuss how to tackle environmental noise. HEAL’s Deputy Director Roberta Savli outlined the evidence on how noise is impacting our health. Read more…

Negotiations continue ahead of Sixth WHO Ministerial Conference
HEAL participated in negotiations on the draft ministerial documents during the European Environment and Health Task Force meeting held in Copenhagen in 10 – 11 April. Work will continue on May 16 in Vienna before the Ministerial Conference in Ostrava, Czech Republic 13 – 15 June. Read more…

ECHA’s opinion on glyphosate received with concern
The finding by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in March that glyphosate is not a carcinogen has been received with grave concern and disappointment in the health and environment community, says HEAL.Read more...

Review builds compelling evidence that chemical exposure harms children’s brains
HEAL welcomes a review by partner CHEM Trust on chemicals that harm the brain development of children. The review “No Brainer – The impact of chemicals on children’s brain development: a cause for concern and a need for action” - calls for immediate action by the EU. Read more...

Exposing frog embryos to a chemical cocktail causes thyroid hormone disruption
Findings published in March provide evidence that exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) causes changes in thyroid hormone signalling, which disturbs brain development. Read more...

HEAL Book review: “Toxic Cocktail: How chemical pollution is poisoning our brains” by Professor Barbara Demeneix
In her latest book, Professor Barbara Demeneix explains how exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals is resulting in reduced IQ levels in children and higher rates of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and outlines how to reduce exposure to today’s toxic cocktails. Read more...

Join our #StopGlyphosate action day - 13 May!
Over 720,000 Europeans have already signed a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) to stop glyphosate, the most widely used weedkiller in Europe. To reach the threshold of one million signatures needed, HEAL and its partners are organising an offline day of action on 13 May across Europe. Read more...

Pesticide Action Week: Showing the world how to protect our health and environment
During Pesticide Action Week 2017, around 1,000 events took place around the world to inform consumers, citizens and decision-makers about the environmental and health risks related to harmful pesticides and to promote existing alternatives. Read more...

European Commission is unable to turn the page on endocrine disruptors (EDCs)
Representatives of European Member States met in Brussels on 7 April to once again discuss how to identify endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). It resulted in another unsuccessful attempt by the European Commission to get an agreement from Member States on the criteria for the identification of EDCs so that they can be regulated. Read more...

Who is contaminated with glyphosate?
To what extent are the French exposed to glyphosate – the world’s best-selling herbicide? A new study by Générations Futures tested thirty individuals for traces of the famous glyphosate, with worrying results. Read more...

HEAL participates in Germany’s biggest public health conference
In March HEAL participated in Germany’s biggest public health conference titled ‘Poverty and Health’ (Armut und Gesundheit), to discuss the health impacts of climate change, its link to poverty, and what health actors can do to support healthier energy choices. Read more…

Vote for the Fossil Fuel Subsidies Awards
As many governments prefer not to talk about or even hide the fact that they are funding fossil fuels, these awards will put the spotlight on how subsidies harm the planet and our health, and increase pressure to phase them out. Read more…

Launch of German translation of ‘Lifting the Dark Cloud’ report
Coal pollution and its health impacts travel far beyond borders. To support a full coal phase-out in one of the biggest EU countries, HEAL presents a German translation of the ‘Europe’s Dark Cloud – How coal-burning countries are making their neighbours sick’ report. Read more…

European petition demands government action to slash toxic coal deaths
A European petition launched by HEAL, EEB, CAN-Europe and WWF this month already has over 126,000 signatures. It calls on governments to protect citizens’ health and the environment by adopting European environmental standards called the ‘revised LCP BREF’. Read more…

Citizens taking action to get the data on air quality through community monitoring
Where official monitoring of air quality is lacking, citizens can take the matter into their own hands to get informed about air pollution and to protect their health. HEAL has initiated a programme for community air quality monitoring in Serbia. Read more…

Closing Italy’s coal power plants would lead to better health
HEAL called on the Italian government to urgently commit to a date to phase out coal power plants to reduce serious health problems such as asthma and heart attacks during a meeting organized by Europe for Freedom and Direct Democracy Group (EFDD) and Movemento 5 Stelle (Five Stars Movement). Read more…

Medical award given to HEAL for fighting coal in Bursa, Turkey
On the occasion of the National Doctor’s Day for Turkey, the Bursa Chamber of Medicine awarded its 2017 Environment Prize to HEAL in Turkey, in recognition of its contribution to resisting the planned DOSAB coal power plant in Bursa. Read more…

HEAL Poland continues to raise awareness in the fight for cleaner air
Despite Polish government’s efforts to underestimate the problem of air pollution in the country, HEAL Poland continues to raise awareness and involve medical community into the fight for cleaner air. Read more…

Dentists urged to stop using mercury in children’s fillings
European NGOs, including HEAL, are calling on dentists to implement the upcoming ban on mercury dental fillings for children and pregnant women. Read more…

Members’ News

- "Cobayes Squad” – Generations Cobayes launches online YouTube series covering health and environment

- Environment and Health Fund - EHF launches brand new website

- PAN-Europe - How many pesticides did you eat today? Plenty, according to the European Food Safety Authority

- Fundacion Alborada - Spain consumes the most pesticides in Europe


- German translation of ‘Lifting the Dark Cloud’ report, April 2017

- Q&A about the LCP BREF, available in English and in Polish, April 2017


May 2017

- 2 May: World Asthma Day

- 2 May: Launch of the Unmask My City campaign

- 9 May: Europe Day

- 12 May: International Nurses Day

- 13 May: #StopGlyphosate Action Day

- 15 - 18 May: European Parliament plenary session

- 31 May: European Parliament plenary session

June 2017

- 1 June: International Children’s Day

- 5 June: World Environment Day

- 12 - 15 June: European Parliament Plenary

- 13 - 15 June: Sixth WHO Ministerial conference

Take Action

- #StopGlyphosate ECI. Protect our health, sign our petition today!

- Nominate and vote on your subsidy in the European Fossil Fuel Subsidies Awards

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

- SumOfUs petition to reject Commission proposal on EDCs criteria. Petition is also available in French, Spanish, and in German.

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

HEAL in the media

- Petition urges EU governments to adopt European environmental standards. The Parliament magazine, 7 April 2017

- Bundesregierung will Braunkohle nicht aufgeben (Federal government does not want to give up brown coal) Sonnenseite, 6 April 2017

- Glyphosate wins a battle, but war still hinges on Paris and Berlin. Politico, 15 March 2017 (Subscription only)

- ECHA says evidence not sufficient to classify chemical as a carcinogen. Times of Malta, 20 March 2017

- Warto pamietac ze drzewa oczyszczaja powietrze (It is good to remember that trees purify the air). Rzeczpospolita, 7 March 2017

HEAL tweets

- To what extent are we contaminated with #glyphosate - the world’s best-selling herbicide? #StopGlyphosate

- #WorldHealthDay: How closing Italy’s coal power plants would lead to better health #EndCoal

- Effective #AirPollution limits save lives! Demand your government cuts toxic coal & sign our petition: #EndCoal _

Last updated on 12 May 2017

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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B1000 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
Press: Elke Zander

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