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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

 

7 things you missed from Kumi Naidoo’s AMA on Reddit

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 12 August, 2013

Ask me anything, as Reddit arranges is a risky proposition, one that I relished, but that also made me a little nervous. Smart, funny and incisive questions came in fast and furious. It was a struggle to keep up. I did my best and...

The perfect gift for parents everywhere

Blog entry by Selena Du | 30 July, 2013 1 comment

While one baby in particular has grabbed global headlines recently, on the other side of the world comes a fantastic piece of news for parents from Beijing to Buckingham Palace. On July 1, China notified the World Trade Organisation...

Ecoforestry: an alternative for Papua New Guinean forest communities

Blog entry by Sam Moko | 30 July, 2013 1 comment

Since 2011, the people of Papua New Guinea have been waiting for the findings of the Commission of Inquiry into Special Agriculture and Business Leases (SABLs). In the meantime, logging companies have been fast-tracking the harvesting...

Creative forces behind environmentalism, lit by the Mediterranean sun

Blog entry by Arin de Hoog | 21 June, 2013

Cannes and Greenpeace; not normally two things you'd link together. This year, however, Greenpeace made its presence known as the Southern French town glitzed and glamoured its way through summer film and media festivals. Greenpeace...

A Gap between your Words and the Truth

Blog entry by Ashov Birry | 25 April, 2013 8 comments

Last week Greenpeace International released the results of an investigation, which revealed that Gap Inc. (the company behind global brands including Banana Republic, Old Navy and its namesake Gap) is in business with a polluting...

Toxic Threads: Polluting Paradise

Publication | 17 April, 2013 at 8:00

Greenpeace International has commissioned a new investigation that delves even further into the hazardous chemicals used in the production of high street fashion, going beyond previous investigations in China and Mexico. This latest report builds...

Polluting Paradise

Slideshow | 17 April, 2013

A Toxic Fairytale

Blog entry by Ashov Birry | 17 April, 2013 8 comments

Let me tell you a story of a polluted paradise. We used to call it 'Parahyangan' or the place where the Gods and Goddesses resided. The river that passes through it stretches 270 km from the Wayang Mountain to the Java Sea, giving...

The Great Bear Rainforest: Weaving a Rich Tapestry of Solutions

Blog entry by Eduardo Sousa | 4 April, 2013

This amazing planet of ours has so many special places of great natural beauty, especially those enmeshed within a web of ecological relationships. I have been privileged to work in one such place of beauty and power: the Great Bear...

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