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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

 

Deni demarcation: introduction

Publication | July 17, 2003 at 0:00

The Deni are an indigenous group living in a remote area of the Amazon rainforest. Their traditional lifestyle was under threat by logging and fishing, but after a long struggle supported by Greenpeace and other groups, the Deni lands have been...

Deni demarcation: Greenpeace and the Deni

Publication | July 17, 2003 at 0:00

Greenpeace has been working with the Deni, a remote indigenous group in the Amazon, for the past four years aiming to protect their land and their which was under threat by loggers and other invasions.

Deni demarcation: 2001 - demarcation year

Publication | July 16, 2003 at 0:00

After 16 years of waiting the Deni decided to demarcate their own lands with the support of Greenpeace, CIMI and OPAN. Within a month the government offically recognised the Deni's right to their land and agreed to complete the demarcation.

Deni demarcation: Deni culture and history

Publication | July 16, 2003 at 0:00

As an indigenous group living in a remote area of the Amazon rainforest, their history and their culture is defined by the forest around them as they live in equalibrium with nature. But they have also had they share of contact with the outside...

Deni demarcation: WTK and the Deni

Publication | July 16, 2003 at 0:00

Greenpeace first made contact with the Deni in 1999 while investigating a land claim by Malaysian logging giant WTK. The land WTK had bought from an illegal landowner overlaped with a large area of Deni territory. This is when teh Deni decided it...

Deni demarcation: letter from the Deni to Funai

Publication | July 16, 2003 at 0:00

Letter from the Deni to the Brazilian government agency Funai which is in charge of all indigenous demarcations telling them the want the demaration of their lands to be completed.

Deni demarcation: the right to the land

Publication | July 16, 2003 at 0:00

This briefing explores the Brazilian law that gives all indigenous people the right to their traditional territories.

Deni demarcation: facts and figures

Publication | July 16, 2003 at 0:00

This briefings contains facts and figures about the Deni, an indigenous group living in a remote area of the Brazilian Amazon who have finally had their lands demarcated after a 16 year wait.

Deni Demarcation: the demarcation process

Publication | July 16, 2003 at 0:00

The law considers indigenous rights over their territories to be original rights,that is a right that existed before the adoption of the legislation itself. This media briefing outlines the process of indigenous demarcation in the Brazilian Amazon.

Deadly cost of shipbreaking

Feature story | July 15, 2003 at 0:00

Politicians deciding on rules for scrapping old ships got a timely reminder when a sculpture, made from the remains of ships taken from Indian shipbreaking yards, was delivered to delegates attending the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)...

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