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HEAL Newsletter September - October 2009

Environment and Health Policy

Competition: 2nd Children’s environmental health project competition

Five years after the launch of the “Children Environmental and Health Action Plan for Europe” (CEHAPE), we are now seeking entries to the second CEHAPE Good Practice Awards. In March 2010, the Fifth Conference of Ministers on Environment and Health - "Protecting Children’s Health in a Changing Environment" - will take place in Parma, Italy. The Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health is the next milestone in the European environment and health process. Focused on protecting (...)

Environment and health policy update - October 2009

Environment and Health Policy developments - A overview of up-coming policy developments in the EU. The WHO European Environment and Health Committee (EEHC) meets on October 14-15 in Parma Italy to discuss preparations for the Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health Civil society exhibition in the European Parliament featured Green 10 concept note and exhibition table on Nature and Health which calls for a second EU Environment and Health Action Plan. Read more about the (...)

Why the precautionary approach is needed for environmental health risks

Speaking in Paris on 12 October, David Gee of the European Environment Agency announced that the second edition of his important book on the precautionary approach would be available in spring 2010. It would include the following examples of the need to use the precautionary approach: BPA, nanotechnology, lead in petrol, mercury in the Mimamata disaster, GMOs, and EMFs amongst others. The original version of "Late lessons from early warnings: the precautionary principle 1896-2000" (...)

About us & our members

Guidance: sustainable and safe school sanitation

To underline the importance of sustainable and safe school sanitation, HEAL member WECF, has published a guildlines on how to provide hygienic, affordable and indoor sanitation in areas without a functioning waste water system. School sanitation is an important but often neglected issue for public health. Children are most vulnerable and affected by poor sanitation conditions. Related diseases, particularly diarrhoea and parasite infections hinder the children´s physical and intellectual (...)

HEAL Secretariat News September - October 2009

Staff changes This month we welcome three new faces to the HEAL team – Anne Stauffer, Alison Cohen and Alina Bezhenar. Anne Stauffer as joined HEAL as Policy Manager. Anne will be coordinating HEAL’s overall policy input into the EU decision-making process, HEAL representation, operation and programme management, as well as supporting HEAL’s member organisations in strengthening their policy and advocacy capacity. Before joining HEAL, Anne worked as a research and policy coordinator in (...)

International Conference on Children’s Environment and Health - Call for abstracts and registration

The 5th International Conference on Children’s Environment and Health offers a worldwide platform dealing with health problems of children caused by important environmental influences. Bangalore 1st of February – 3rd February 2010 This conference, the fifth after Amsterdam (1998), Washington (2001), London (2004) and Vienna (2007) is initiated by HEAL member, the International Network on Children’s Health, Environment and Safety (INCHES) - in collaboration with the H.P.Foundation in (...)

Research: key mechanisms of pesticide-induced cancer

ARTAC (the Association for Research and Treatments Against Cancer) have recently published new research on the effects of pesticides on the rise of cancer incidence in the West Indies. Prostate and breast cancers have become frequent in Martinique. The study reveals that the growth curves of incidence rates for Martinique and metropolitan France have been significantly diverging since 1983. They suggest that among possible environmental factors in Martinique, the intensive and prolonged (...)

Short film on EDCs and breast cancer

HEAL member, Breast Cancer UK have released a new video on endocrine disrupting chemicals and their links to breast cancer. The 5 minute video forms part of Breast Cancer UK’s ongoing No More Breast Cancer campaign, that began in 2005. As part of this push, they will soon also be launching a campaign calling for the banning of the use of Bisphenol-A from baby and toddler (...)

Test your nest: New kit to test air quality in your home

The Nesting campaign - a project of Women in Europe for a Common Future, aiming to help new parents make a safe home environment for their children - has launched its second phase of the campaign to test the nest. Test your nest offers new parents a unique opportunity to test the air quality in their homes and especially the air in their baby’s room. The kit will be provided to families in five European countries (UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Greece) and measures pollutants [(...)>art514]


Chemicals and health policy update – October 2009

Chemicals policy developments - A overview of up-coming policy developments in the EU. The European Chemicals Agency is running a public consultation until mid October on the 15 new proposed chemicals of ‘very high concern’ under REACH. The phthalate DIBP, proposed for its property of being toxic to reproduction, is one of the 15. These chemicals, if / when officially adopted, go on to the Candidate List, and become subject to consumer right to know disclosures (see weblink to chm take (...)

Interview with Prof. Christopher Wild, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)

In June 2009, HEAL interviewed Professor Christopher Wild to find out its opinion on the links between cancer and the environment and what evidence is being delivered by the compelling science. Lisette van Vliet, HEAL´s Toxics Policy Advisor, asked him three questions: You can watch the interview on YouTube Professor Wild was elected as a new director of the International Agency for the Research on Cancer (IARC) in May 2008 and took office on 1 January 2009 for a five-year term. To find (...)

REACH: the second list of ‘very harmful’ chemicals is proposed

The European Chemicals Agency have published a list of proposed new chemicals to be added to the REACH list of Substances of Very High Concern. On the 1st September, the ECHA released the list of 15 new chemicals to be added to the REACH list of Substances of Very High Concern. The chemicals comprise substances that negatively affect human health (carcinogenic, mutagenic, and/or reprotoxic, or CMR) and that negatively affect the environment (persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) (...)


Council vote to adopt pesticides regulations

On the 24th September that European Council of Ministers voted to adopt three major pieces of pesticide legislation – including the long awaited pesticides framework directive and the regulation on the authorization of pesticides. The regulation and the framework directive were originally proposed by the European Commission in Summer 2006. They were then passed by the European Parliament in January of this year, in a second reading agreement with Council. Finally, after months of (...)

Pesticides and health policy update – October 2009

Pesticides policy developments - A overview of up-coming policy developments in the EU. The revision of the Biocides Directive (non agricultural use of a plant/fungicide) also is now in the European Parliament this autumn. Key issues will be what sorts of criteria are developed to exclude certain biocides from use, such as PBTs (persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic), Endocrine Disruptors (with what definition) and with what exceptions. On September 24th, the Council of Ministers voted (...)

Climate Change

Climate change and health policy update – October 2009

Climate change Policy developments - A overview of up-coming policy developments in the EU. This month will see the European Parliament Resolution on climate change and discussions around the EU negotiation position. The Council will be discussing the newly released proposals on the EU’s contribution to climate change financing. HEAL will keep you posted on their progress. Watch the vote on October 19th in the Parliament’s Environment Committee to see if MEPs support amendments on health (...)

Global warming is more harmful for people with respiratory problems, specialists warn

The estimated increase in the risk of premature death among people with respiratory problems that would result from a 1°C rise in global temperature is more than double that in the rest of the population, states HEAL member, the European Respiratory Society (ERS). As pressure mounts on governments to agree tougher measures to tackle climate change at negotiations in Copenhagen, ERS urge policy makers and health professionals to pay greater attention to the effects of global warming on (...)

Air Quality

Protocol on pollutant release registers to enter force

An international protocol for recording and reporting emissions of 86 pollutants from industrial facilities and other sources, such as traffic, will enter force on 8 October following France’s ratification of the law in July. Aiming to improve public access to information on the environment and thus contribute in the long term to the prevention and reduction of pollution, the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR was agreed in 2003. Over the past few months France, the (...)

Last updated on 30 June 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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