Plastic production, use, and end-of-life management threaten the environment and human health with toxic chemicals exposures. Protecting women, children, and communities in low- and middle-income countries that are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of plastics is a priority. IPEN recognizes the need for a new global treaty addressing plastics and associated chemicals, which must include new and additional sustainable financial resources and complement existing international conventions and frameworks. The negotiations should recognize the importance of not diverting resources from commitments on legacy chemical pollution such as PCB stockpile management and POPs waste trade restrictions in favour of a new treaty.
A new legally binding global treaty must hold polluters legally and financially accountable, provide remedies to affected communities, and mitigate the toxic impacts plastics and their toxic additives have on the enjoyment of human rights throughout their life cycle, particularly on communities that are the least responsible for plastic production. The projected increased production of chemicals and plastics hamper the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Negotiating the treaty requires the meaningful open, transparent, and inclusive participation of civil society and the communities most affected by plastics’ harmful impacts.
Overarching goal: Eliminate the toxic impact of plastics throughout their life cycle – production, use, and disposal.
Six IPEN Participating Organizations (POs) in South and Southeast Asia conducted new analytical studies on solvent-based paints, including industrial paints, that are sold in the local market. The studies show that lead paints are still manufactured and/or sold in countries where lead paint laws exist such as in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Vietnam, and moreso in Indonesia which has yet to adopt a legally binding lead paint law. The results, released during the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, justify the POs’ continuing campaign to ban the manufacture, import, export, distribution, sale, and use of all lead-containing paints to protect human health and the environment.
In 2002, the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development called for the phase-out of lead-based paints.
In 2009, the International Conference on Chemicals Management asked UNEP and WHO to establish a global partnership to promote phasing out lead in paint.
The United Nations Environmental Assembly and the World Health Assembly both have called upon governments to establish national controls on lead in paints.
In this same time period, we have achieved the global phase-out of leaded automobile fuels—a goal announced in 2002 at the same Johannesburg World Summit that called for the global phase-out of lead paints.
Why, after nearly 20 years, have we not eliminated lead paint globally?
IPEN POs Step Up Campaign for Global Phase-Out of Lead Paints in time for the 9th International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week
Thursday, 21 October 2021
Forty-eight IPEN Participating Organizations (POs) from 35 countries will take part in the upcoming International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (ILPPW) on 24-30 October 2021. With the theme “Working Together for a World Without Lead Paint,” various activities will be carried out to emphasize the need to accelerate progress toward the global phase-out of lead-containing paints through regulatory and legal measures. Additionally, IPEN will organize a webinar on “Catalyzing the Global Phase-Out of Lead Paints,” which will discuss how listing lead pigments in the Rotterdam Convention will advance global lead paint elimination; help countries adopt and enforce lead paint control regulations; and make exporting countries assume major responsibilities for the control of lead pigments and the lead paints that contain them.
Now on its ninth year, the week of action aims to raise awareness about the health effects of lead exposure; highlight the efforts of countries and partners to prevent lead exposure, particularly in children; and to urge further action to eliminate lead paint through regulatory action at country level. The ILPPW, which counts on the participation of IPEN and many of its POs from low- and middle- income countries, is an initiative of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint, which is jointly led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Gothenburg, Sweden A new educational series will focus on the specific risks women face when exposed to toxic chemicals. The goal of the free, online course is to educate the public at large and to build a broad, woman-led leadership for addressing issues related to toxic chemical exposure. The first in the nine-part series will be available beginning 18 October 2021 and can be accessed at https://ipen.teachable.com.
Sara Brosché, author of Women, Chemicals, and the SDGs, released in 2021, said: “Women are disproportionally impacted by exposure to chemicals and wastes, but they are under-represented when decisions about chemical use and disposal are being made. At the same time, it is women who often become the key agents for change in their communities. In developing this educational program, International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) hopes to encourage women to play a greater role in deciding when and how toxic chemicals are manufactured, used, and disposed of – at the community level as well as at national and international levels.”
IPEN Co-Chair outlines steps for addressing SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production)
Monday, 11 October 2021
Asked "What are the priorities for achieving the SDGs* within the context of the sustainable consumption and production SDG?" at the 8 July 2021 Berlin Forum on Chemical Sustainability: Ambition and Action towards 2030 Stakeholder Dialog, IPEN Co-Chair Dr. Tadesse Amera focused on four topics:
eliminating the international double-standard,
creating a better financial structure,
recognizing the dangers of chemical additives in plastics, and
the important contributions of youth to a better future.
The right to science plays an essential role in both public communications regarding toxics and the science-policy interface
Tuesday, 21 September 2021
Geneva Following the release of the Special Rapporteur on Toxics and Human Rights, Professor Marcos A. Orellana’s report, “Right to science in the context of toxic substances” at the 48th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) issued the following statements.