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Chemicals out of control

Governments and industry have failed tocontrol the spread of dangerous chemicals around the globe. Sowidespread are manmade hazardous chemicals in our environment, in ourhomes and in the products we use every day, that we are constantlyexposed to a cocktail of chemicals. As a result, even our own bodiesare contaminated.

Moda sin Toxicos

High fashion isn't normally known for being held in high regard amongenvironmentalists. But some big names and big brands in fashion havegotten together with us to put on a toxics-freefashion show. The clothes we wear, no matter how expensive,shouldn't cost the Earth.

In our environment:

It nowseems that no part of the planet is free from chemical contamination.Research shows that fish and whales caught hundreds of kms offshore,and in remote areas such as Alpine lakes and the polar regions, despitebeing far from any industry, are no longer pristine. Rainwater inEurope has been shown to be polluted with the hazardous chemicals thatare added to consumer products. A recent study has found that eels infreshwater ecosystems across Europe are contaminated, raising concernfor the impact on this once abundant species whose numbers now are inrapid decline.

In our homes:

Our testing hasfound that house dust in homes across Europe is contaminated withhazardous manmade chemicals. Chemicals that are added to ordinaryhousehold products (including carpets and other furnishings, electricaland electronic goods, toys and childcare articles, etc.) can bereleased over time, accumulating in the dust in our homes. Chemicals insuch products are rarely labelled and you probably don't realise theyare there. Bringing these chemicals via consumer products into ourhomes leads to a repeated and long-term exposure to low doses of thesecontaminants.

In our products:

Hazardouschemicals are intentionally added to consumer products that we useevery day. Electronics, toys, shampoos, perfumes, furniture, even babies' pyjamas, can all contain substances with the potential to harmhealth and development. We have tested a wide range of these productsfor hazardous chemicals. You can read the results of our testing anddiscover which brands contain the most toxic substances on our ChemicalHome website.

In our bodies:

Analyses ofumbilical cord blood have confirmed the presence of hazardous chemicalsin humans at the very start of life, indicating that chemicals releasedtoday could have profound consequences for the next generation. Thisproves that chemicals released into our environment may have an impacton future generations. No one knows how many man-made chemicalscontaminate our bodies but more than 100 is a conservative estimate. Sogreat is the number of chemicals all around us that we're constantlyexposed to multiple doses, the combined effect of which could beimpacting our health. This effect of chemicals in our bodies, includingin our blood, is largely unknown. There's particular concern about therisks to children and babies, since they are the most vulnerable, andbecause some of these hazardous chemicals are known to affect thedevelopment of babies inside the womb.


The European Union has approved a new chemical law to replaceregulation that is over 40 years old. But the new EU chemicalslegislation (REACH) is in critical condition. Read more analysis or a guide to how you can help strengthen the new law.

We are campaigning for solutions. We believe that politicians must takeaction and require companies to stop using hazardous chemicals and tosubstitute them with safer alternatives whenever and wherever possible.

The latest updates

 

The power of knowing what’s in your water

Blog entry by Beau Baconguis | 28 September, 2012 2 comments

The Citarum River in West Java, Indonesia, supports agriculture, water supplies, fisheries, industry, sewerage and electricity. It’s the lifeblood of the community around it.  But like so many other waterways in Southeast Asia, the...

International 'Right To Know' Day

Slideshow | 28 September, 2012

'Zombies' Protest in the Philippines

Image | 27 September, 2012 at 16:30

Greenpeace activists dressed as zombies protest against the Department of Environment and Natural Resources' (DENR) in action to industrial water pollution. Greenpeace is urging the DENR to establish a "Right to Know" system for chemicals, and...

Rachel Carson - And the birth of modern environmentalism

Blog entry by Rex Weyler | 27 September, 2012 2 comments

"The 'control of nature' is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology." ― Rachel Carson. Fifty years ago, on September 27, 1962, Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, a culture-crashing exposure of...

How one company is getting away with a human and environmental tragedy

Blog entry by Marietta Harjono | 25 September, 2012

Six years ago a multinational company bought large amounts of unrefined gasoline in the US and refined it through an industrial process called caustic washing onboard a ship, the Probo Koala, in the Mediterranean Sea. During one...

The Toxic Truth

Publication | 25 September, 2012 at 0:30

This is a story of corporate crime, human rights abuse and governments’ failure to protect people and the environment. A joint report by Amnesty International and Greenpeace Netherlands.

Protest At TNC Chemicals, Philippines

Image | 20 September, 2012 at 15:00

Greenpeace activists label an outer wall of TNC Chemicals Philippines Inc. with the words 'Water Polluter', in Calamba, Laguna. Activists also unfurl a banner listing the different hazardous chemicals previously identified in a sampling report by...

One small step for a brand, one giant leap for brand-kind

Blog entry by Martin Hojsik | 6 September, 2012 1 comment

A lot can change in a year. Having found links between H&M and its suppliers in China releasing a cocktail of hazardous chemicals. Just 12 short months ago we were busy campaigning and challenging H&M to Detox its supply chain and...

Zeitgeist Shift

Blog entry by Rex Weyler | 7 August, 2012 9 comments

Did Earth rumble after the Rio+20 climate conference? Or was that the roar of a billion citizens letting go the expectation that polite dialogue and political process would restore Earth’s ecological balance? In any case, the global...

Living for a cause

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 7 August, 2012 32 comments

This November marks three years since I was appointed Executive Director of Greenpeace International. Coming to Greenpeace represented an opportunity for me to actually be part of an organisation that has taken, and continues to take a...

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