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HEAL Newsletter - Edition 3, May 2018

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to come into effect 25 May 2018
We take protecting personal information very seriously and are committed to take all reasonable steps to ensure information is safe and to comply with the GDPR. To do so, we have updated our privacy and cookies policy. Read more...

New WHO air pollution numbers & infographics
Shocking data shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe highly polluted air. Updated estimates show 7 million people’s lives are cut short every year because of outdoor and indoor air pollution. Read more…

HEAL calls on upcoming Austrian presidency for ambition on health and the environment
We wrote to Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in April calling for advancing measures for a safe environment that benefits people’s health and received an answer which shows their commitment. Read more...

Green 10 position paper on post-Brexit EU-UK collaboration in environmental protection
The joint paper calls for continuous collaboration, legal stability, respect of current and future environmental laws as well as maintaining existing funding streams which support cross-border environmental projects. Read more...

HEAL’s contribution to Geert Messiaen (BE Mutuel) book ‘Is Europe Social?’
Génon K. Jensen, HEAL’s Executive Director, evaluates the actions of the European Union to protect public health and the environment in a new book by Geert Messiaen, Secretary General of the Liberal Mutualities: Is Europe Social? Read more...

HEAL event in the European Parliament on endocrine disruptors in the EU - 24 May 2018
HEAL and MEP Pavel Poc (S&D) held a discussion in the European Parliament on what the EU has done in the past 5 years to reduce human exposure to EDCs and what challenges still lie ahead. Read more...

EDC-Free Europe coalition urges European Commission to protect people and environment from hormone disruptors
The EDC-Free Europe coalition, representing over 70 organisations across Europe, called on the EU Commission to finally release a long overdue strategy on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Read more...

Glyphosate: an emblematic failure of the EU pesticides regime
The glyphosate controversy and decision to re-approve the chemical for another 5 years has exposed some fundamental failures of the EU’s pesticide approval system. 23 health and environment NGOs shared their thoughts in an open letter to the European Parliament. Read more...

European Commission’s plans to improve transparency in the risk assessment of food: “Too little, too late and not to the point”
New EU initiatives to improve transparency in processes aimed at assessing risks in our food chain fall short of meeting HEAL’s expectations. Read more...

HEAL commentary: HBM4EU - A public health tool to inform the transition towards a toxic-free future
Génon K. Jensen, HEAL’s Executive Director, reflects on the unique opportunities of the European Human Biomonitoring Initiative (HBM4EU). HEAL is an official stakeholder to the initiative, which aims to investigate effects of exposure to toxic chemicals. Read more...

French President must act in favour of European transition towards a non-toxic environment
Ahead of his speech in the European Parliament about the future of Europe, HEAL urged President Macron to continue to play a decisive role on chemicals in the EU. Read more…

HEAL comments on European Chemicals Agency draft strategic plan for 2019-2023
ECHA’s draft strategic plan aims to guide its general and operational activities for the coming years. HEAL, having collaborated with the agency for many years, commented. Read more...

REACH chemicals committee sets stricter standards on chemicals in textiles
The committee voted on restrictions after 7 environment and health NGOs including HEAL called for stricter proposals on textiles, phthalates and nanomaterials ahead of its meeting in late April. Read more...

Letter to Commissioners Vella and Andriukatis on human health and preventive action in BREFs
EEB, HEAL and CIEL called to ensure that references to human health aspects and to “preventive measures” are retained in the BREF Environmental Management System standard text. Read more…

Commission President Juncker urged to exclude fossil fuel subsidies from EU post-2020 budget
HEAL supports the call of 31 organisations for future finances to be consistent with Europe’s climate objectives and the Paris Agreement, to increase spending on climate action, cut fossil fuel subsidies entirely and align financial flows and fiscal incentives to a low carbon pathway. Read more…

HEAL reaction: EU Commission refers 6 countries to EU court of justice for failure to keep EU air quality standards
Commissioner Vella has referred 6 out of 9 countries to the ECJ for failure to keep EU air quality standards. HEAL has worked with a number of members for a European as well as national reactions. Read more...

New HEAL Air quality infographic
This new visual presents 8 demands for clean air and is an easy to share tool for social media. Read more…

New Lancet Countdown on air quality in the UK
New analysis shows that meeting the UK’s Climate Change Act commitments could cut nitrogen dioxide (NO2) air pollution by 50-60% in the country, contributing to improved public health and longer life expectancy. Read more…

HEAL highlights Western Balkans coal power plants’ lack of compliance with Energy Community rules
Ahead of an Energy Community/European Parliament exchange, we showed the unpreparedness of coal power plants in the Western Balkans to meet Energy Community emission standards. Read more...

Members’ news

- Générations Futures - New brochure for bystanders exposed to pesticides

- Générations Futures - Petition: France must respect its commitment to ban glyphosate by 2020

- ISDE Italy - Launch of new national campaign on climate and health

- PAN Europe - Register now for a conference on inspiring citizen-driven actions for nature-based cities – 8 June

- RES (Réseau Environnement Santé) - Book release – Endocrine disruptors in charge, prostate cancer and male reproduction

- Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) - Join a UK revolution for healthy, eco-friendly menstrual products


- HEAL briefing - “Detoxing Carpet - Pathways Towards Safe and Recyclable Carpet in a Truly Circular Economy” (available in English, Dutch, Frenchand German)

- HEAL Briefing - "Eight demands on clean air for Europe"

- HEAL infographic - "HEAL’s Eight demands for clean air in the European Region"

- Your Fossil Fuel Subsidies Update - March & April 2018

- HEAL Balkans May newsletter


May 2018

- 24 May 2018:HEAL - MEP Pavel Poc event - Endocrine Disruptors in the EU, State of Play
- 25 - 31 May 2018: European Week Against Cancer
- 25 - 31 May 2018: European Parliament Plenary Session
- 30 May 2018: HEAL expert workshop on clean air, Sofia, Bulgaria
- 31 May 2018: Unmask My City launch in Sofia, Bulgaria

June 2018

- 1 June 2018: Global Day of Parents
- 4 - 8 June 2018: EU Sustainable Energy Week
- 5 June 2018: World Environment Day
- 6 - 7 June 2018: Third Global Conference on Health and Climate
- 11 - 14 June 2018: European Parliament plenary session
- 13 - 16 June 2018: Central & Eastern European Energy Efficiency Forum in Poland

Take Action

- Public consultation on fitness check of ambient air quality. Deadline for submitting views is 31 July 2018

- Fill out our survey to feed into a urban air quality toolkit. Deadline 15 June.

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

HEAL in the media

- EurActiv: Commission gears up against air polluters, sends six countries to court (18 May 2018)

- Chemical Watch: Austrian EU presidency urged to act on chemicals control (3 May 2018)

- Food Packaging Forum: EDC criteria for pesticides adopted (27 April 2018)

- DhakaTribune: Reliance on fossil fuels makes Bangladesh an outlier (22 April 2018)

HEAL tweets

- .@WHO shows that #AirPollution is a major source for noncommunicable diseases (#NCDs), causing heart disease, lung cancer, and more. All the more reasons to reinforce strong European air quality guidelines now!

- #FutureofEurope: HEAL sends letter to French President @EmmanuelMacron asking for urgent action on a EU transition towards a truly non-toxic environment #ToxicFree #EDCFree

- Did you know 1 in 6 Europeans are likely to live in unhealthy buildings? Indoor air quality is impacted by factors such as outdoor #AirPollution and moisture. It’s time to invest in #HealthyBuildings.

Originally posted on 24 May 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 »

Contact us

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
28 Boulevard Charlemagne
B1000 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
Press: Elke Zander

Direct telephone numbers: HEAL team page.

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