To most people, it is the pure sweet refreshing act of nature that sometimes soaks you when you least expect it but always washes away the dirt and refreshes the landscape. But along with the rain comes some nasty chemicals where you would least expect to find them.
Rainwater in Europe contains toxic chemicals.
New research on rainwater in the Netherlands, Belgium, and
Germany has revealed that rain water is polluted with a huge range
of toxic chemicals. This pollution is particularly worrying because
the chemicals identified include known and suspected hormone
disrupters. This means they act like the hormones that we and other
animals have in our bodies. These hazardous chemicals disrupt the
correct functioning of the body and harm reproduction and
in rainwater are just another ingredient of the toxic cocktail of
chemicals that surround us in our every day lives. Last month we
revealed that toxic chemicals are present in homes across Europe.
Many of these pollutants come not from traffic fumes, industrial
chimneys or pesticides but are brought into our homes as unseen and
unlabeled chemical additives in everyday consumer products.
Industry down plays the risks of these chemicals and manufacturers
claim that the chemicals remained fixed in the products and that
consumers are not exposed. But these chemicals were present in the
house dust of almost every single house of the 100 we tested in the
UK and in homes in France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.
Time for change
We are highlighting the risks of this dangerous chemical
cocktail now because there is now a unique chance to bring these
chemicals under control. Current chemical laws that should protect
us from chemical contamination are weak and ineffectual. The EU is
currently drafting new chemicals legislation that would set a world
precedent in protection from unseen and unlabeled hazardous
chemicals in our home and in our environment.
We must take the first steps to end the chemicals crisis. But
the chemical industry, with support from the US administration, is
lobbying hard to delay and weaken the proposed law and to protect
their profits rather than our health. Environmental, consumer and
health organisations are demanding that the new laws phase out the
most hazardous chemicals where safer alternatives exist. This would
ensure that products in our homes are free of hidden poisons. If
the EU acts now and implements strong laws, other areas of the
world will follow. If not, a dangerous global experiment on you and
me will remain unchecked.
Tell the EU to
bring these chemicals under control.
an ecard to your friends.
Download the full report
Hazardous Chemicals in Rainwater.
Download the full report Consuming Chemicals -
Hazardous chemicals in house dust as an indicator of chemical
exposure in the home.
more about these chemicals and attempts to control them.