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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

 

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Image | 1 September, 2003 at 0:00

Close-up of an explosive charge fitted to whale harpoons used to kill a whale. This is a spent cartridge that has been removed from a whale, photographed in the hands of a whaler on the deck of the whaling ship "Njordur" in Kopavogur harbour,...

Hydrogen station in Reykjavik which has just

Image | 1 September, 2003 at 0:00

Hydrogen station in Reykjavik which has just started supplying three buses with renewable hydrogen fuel, made from water using geothermal energy abundant in Iceland.

Potter book saves trees

Feature story | 27 August, 2003 at 0:00

The boy with the lightening bolt on his forehead is back. And this time, Harry's not only saving Muggles and Hogwarts from the evil powers of Voldemort, he's also working a little magic for the world's ancient and endangered forests.

A slow motion chemical disaster

Feature story | 22 August, 2003 at 0:00

Agent Orange should be a cautionary tale from the past. Containing some of the most toxic chemicals known to man it was sprayed it over huge areas - creating a toxic legacy for those people exposed. The Spolana factory in the Czech Republic...

Maize Under Threat - GE Maize Contamination in Mexico

Publication | 18 August, 2003 at 0:00

Hands Off Our Maize Briefing Package.

Stichting Greenpeace Council Annual Report 2003

Publication | 15 August, 2003 at 0:00

There are huge numbers of people on every continent who are committed to the common good, and who are no longer willing to accept the agendas of timid or inept governments or unscrupulous corporations.This global social movement has been...

Toxics Action Spolana Chemical Plant in Czech Republic

Image | 10 August, 2003 at 1:00

Greenpeace activists hang a banner off the 200 meter high chimney of the Spolana Chemical Plant reading "Stop dioxin, mercury, PCB, HCB".

In the half light of dawn the boat approaches

Image | 10 August, 2003 at 1:00

In the half light of dawn the boat approaches the chemical factory. The old outdated and contaminated site is a chemical disaster waiting to happen.

Flames consume huge areas of forest in Vale

Image | 7 August, 2003 at 1:00

Flames consume huge areas of forest in Vale Alto, Portugal. Portugal has declared a national disaster after the worst forest fires in more than two decades killed nine people, torched thousands of hectares of forest and destroyed homes.

Flames consume huge areas of forest in Vale

Image | 7 August, 2003 at 1:00

Flames consume huge areas of forest in Vale Alto, Portugal. Portugal has declared a national disaster after the worst forest fires in more than two decades killed nine people, torched thousands of hectares of forest and destroyed homes.

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