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HEAL Newsletter - November 2009

Environment and Health Policy

Environment and health policy update - November 2009

Environment and Health Policy developments - An overview of up-coming policy developments in the EU. Human Biomonitoring week - Nov 30th - Dec 2nd This week will see the kick off of the Human Biomonitoring programme - COPHES (Consortium to Perform Human biomonitoring) on a European Scale. DG Environment - Consultative Forum on Environment and Health, Dec 3rd HEAL and many of HEAL members have participated in the Consultative Forum since it was created in 2004 to give strategic and (...)

HEAL launches environment and health blog for young people

The beginning of November saw the launch of HEAL’s Health and Environment blog for Youth. The blog will bring together young people from around the world to discuss issues around environment and health and will help to highlight youth activities and opinions. Youth are the present - not just the future Increasingly, young people are becoming integral to the decision-making process. Youth delegates participate in high-level preparatory meetings, raising awareness of issues that affect (...)

About us & our members

European Commission seeks to tackle health inequalities

The European Commission states that health must be given a higher priority among the European Union’s various policies and funding programmes, to raise standards throughout the continent. HEAL member, The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), sees this latest move as a positive opportunity to redirect the focus of EU priorities and spending. On October 20th the Commission released a long awaited communication taking the first steps to tackle health inequalities within and between Member (...)

HEAL Secretariat News November 2009


  • New Campaign: Prescription for a Healthy Planet
  • Prescription for a Healthy Planet
  • The role of global decision makers
  • Giant Prescription for the global launch
  • Recommendations concerning international climate change talks, Barcelona 2-6 November, 2009 - Bringing the health dimension into current UNFCCC negotiating text
  • Briefing and recommendations concerning - Commission Communication. Stepping up international finance: a European blueprint for the Copenhagen deal (...)

Letters sent to EU Environmental Ministries asking for tighter control over chemicals

In October, Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) wrote letters to Environmental Ministries in Germany, France and The Netherlands asking them to set ambitious standards for chemicals during the revision of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) The RoHS Directive on the restrictions of hazardous chemicals in electrical and electronic equipment (2002/95/EC) is currently under review. In October, the WECF sent letters to the German, French and Dutch Ministry of (...)

Report - Many cancers linked to environmental factors

In a report published this month, The Association for Research and Treatments Against Cancer (ARTAC) states that the majority of cancers may be linked to factors external to the body. The report, ‘Basic properties and molecular mechanisms of exogenous chemical carcinogens’ was published in the American Journal Carcinogenesis in November. The authors, Philippe Irigaray and Dominique Belpomme, found that most cancers are exogenous, caused by external factors, rather than endogenous, caused (...)

Report - Improving school sanitation in a sustainable way

In the European Region (of 53 countries), 120 million people do not have access to safe drinking water, and even more lack access to hygienic sanitary facilities. Better management of water and sanitation would prevent over 30 million cases of water-related disease per year in the region. HEAL member, Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF), have released a report on how to improve school sanitation in sustainable way. Little is known about access to adequate water supply and safe (...)

Tackling inequalities in home safety

The European Child Home Safety Conference, hosted by Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and HEAL member, the European Child Safety Alliance, took place on November 2nd and 3rd in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Over 100 child safety experts from across Europe attended the conference, representing nearly 20 European countries. Injuries which occur in the home are one of the leading causes of death of European children 0 to 14 years of age. Children from lower income (...)


Chemicals policy update - November 2009

Chemicals policy developments - An overview of policy developments in the EU. The Swedish Presidency of the European Union Council is leading discussions on exposures to Endocrine Disruptors (EDCs) and the need to take into account the combined effects of hazardous chemicals, particularly EDCs. The so-called ‘Cumulative effects’ are not explicitly included in EU risk assessments, including REACH. HEAL is following developments and advocating for strong conclusions at the December (...)

Open Letter: The precautionary principle and chemicals

In November, Pink Ribbon, the online breast cancer awareness magazine, published a letter on the application of the precautionary principle for known cancer causing chemicals. Pink Ribbon Magazine aims to ensure that awareness does not stop outside of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As a major online cancer magazine known to receive funds from the private sector, it is encouraging to see the publication of the following open letter from the Scottish Breast Cancer Campaign. Letter posted (...)


Cancer organisation announces position on non-cosmetic pesticides

In November, the Canadian Cancer Society, a national community-based organisation of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer, announced their official position on non-cosmetic pesticides in November. In a recent statement, the CCS states that when pesticides are needed in non-cosmetic settings, they should be part of a plan to control pests that includes pest prevention, using pesticides in the lowest (...)

Commission lowers maximum residue levels for 11 pesticides

Following safety concerns of eleven pesticide active substances because of safety concerns, the European Commission has adopted a regulation to lower the maximum residue levels (MRLs). The move comes after recent research from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) highlighted a variety of safety concerns over the pesticide ingredients. New information on toxicology, consumer exposure and residue levels led EFSA to call for the reduction of MRLs, this would provide protection to the (...)

Pesticides and health policy update - November 2009

Pesticides policy developments - A overview of policy developments in the EU. In the European Parliament work has started on the Revision of the EU Biocides Law. On 4 November, the EP’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety held its first exchange of view. MEPs raised concerns about the safety and protection against hazardous biocides. Key issues will be the cut-off for hazardous biocides, mutual recognition of biocides products and including nano biocides in the new law. (...)

Climate Change

High level health delegation at the Copenhagen Climate Summit

HEAL and our member organisation, Health Care Without Harm, will bring a high level health delegation to the climate talks in Copenhagen next month. The united voice of the health community will help to bring home one message: Global leaders must avert a global public health crisis now by abating climate change - this is a number one priority in Copenhagen and beyond. Over the last two months HEAL, together with HCWH, have presented our ’Prescription for a Healthy Planet’ to European and (...)

Climate change and health policy update – November 2009

Climate change Policy developments - A overview of up-coming policy developments in the EU On the 24th November the European Parliament will vote on the Parliament’s Resolution on climate change and discussions around the EU negotiation position. EU Environment Ministers will meet at an extraordinary Environment Council on 23 November to discuss, among other issues, the EU’s position for Copenhagen. During the UNFCCC Barcelona negotiations this month, HEAL and HCWH E focused on [(...)>art501]

UNFCCC Barcelona negotiations: Prescribing for a healthy planet

During the Barcelona UNFCCC negotiations, some of the world’s largest medical, nursing and public health organisations called on world leaders to take bold action to address climate change. At the final climate change negotiations before the Copenhagen summit, HEAL and Health Care Without Harm launched the second stage of their campaign push for a binding climate change treaty that protects the health of the planet and the people. At the well attended press conference, a giant placard, (...)

Air Quality

Campaign: Soot free for the climate

German environmental and consumer associations have launched a campaign to address the climatic and health effects of soot. Launched in March of this year, the campaign – ‘Soot free for the climate’ aims to highlight both the well known threats to health posed by soot, or black carbon, along side the many long time underestimated problems it causes to the climate. The campaign was launched by four leading German environmental and consumer associations - Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz (...)

Last updated on 1 July 2011

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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