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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

 

Cancer Villages, Zhejiang Province

Slideshow | 22 March, 2013

World Water Day: 10 facts you ought to know

Blog entry by Tianjie Ma | 22 March, 2013 3 comments

We live on a wet planet, and without that water we would not be able to survive. But in places like China where I live, industries such as textile facilities are pumping a nasty cocktail of toxic chemicals into our water – you only...

Gucci “bag” a new kind of eco-luxury

Blog entry by Chiara Campione | 13 March, 2013

Every time I meet someone and let them know that I work for Greenpeace they usually picture me with a helmet on my head, hanging from a rope or under the pressure of a water hydrant in the middle of the ocean. And every time I arrange...

Reflections on Women's Day

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 8 March, 2013

Today hundreds of millions of women and men will celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). The theme for IWD 2013 is “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.” The sad reality today is that 600 million...

Green gloves take over Italy challenging the fashion industry

Blog entry by Esperanza Mora | 7 March, 2013

On Saturday, Greenpeace Italy activists challenged the fashion industry on the streets of 24 Italian cities, including Milan, Florence and Rome. Following events held at the Fashion Weeks in New York, Milan and Paris, Greenpeace...

Bond Girl helps Detox the Oscars

Blog entry by Valeria Botte Coca | 25 February, 2013 4 comments

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. One such group of people is the team at Red Carpet Green Dress , who have been busy over the last weeks and months creating a beautiful gown for...

Pointing fashion brands in the right direction

Blog entry by Chiara Campione | 23 February, 2013 3 comments

Greenpeace Italy activists this morning covered the famous sculpture by Maurizio Cattelan, also known as "The Finger”, with a giant green glove. Activists surrounded the base of the sculpture and unfurled a banner with the message:...

A green catwalk in Milan

Blog entry by Chiara Campione | 20 February, 2013

The Milan Fashion Show, one of the world’s top haute couture spots, has had an unexpected and green start this year as Greenpeace Italy activists unveiled a ‘vertical catwalk’ on the façade of the splendid Sforzesco Castle. ...

New York Fashion Week's unexpected show

Blog entry by Kat Clark | 12 February, 2013 1 comment

In the midst of a rainy New York Fashion Week, four exclusive fashion brands were greeted by "clean-up crews" challenging them to adopt forest friendly and toxic free policies. Activists decorated store windows with giant images of...

In Fashion Duel, Valentino proves 'Green' really is the new 'Black'

Blog entry by Chiara Campione | 7 February, 2013 11 comments

At the start of November, Greenpeace threw down the gauntlet to 15 top Italian and French luxury fashion brands, challenging these companies with 25 'uncomfortable' questions about their supply chains. Why? Every day another...

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