The European Eel. Stocks in Europe have crashed due to a combination of overfishing, habitat loss and toxic pollution.
How do toxic chemicals with complicated names like brominated
flameretardants (BFRs) that are added to many textiles, sofas,
plastics,TV's and computers end up in eels? Politicians tell us
that chemicalsare under control, but tell that to an eel who is
swimming inchemicals. Toxic chemicals are out of control.
Is this contamination a problem for eels? No one knows for sure
but theevidence is mounting that BFRs and other toxics have the
potential todamage development and hormone systems in humans and
wildlife.Certainly for an eel already under pressure, it's an extra
dose of bad news.Some scientists are concerned that these toxins
could harm the eel'sability reproduce or its young to survive.
With populations in some European waters as low as 1 percent
ofhistoric levels, the eel clearly doesn't need a toxic burden. For
thatmatter neither do we. BFRs can also contaminate our own
blood,including umbilical cord blood, exposing an unborn baby to
manmadehazardous chemicals while still in the womb.
Chemical contamination? No Thanks!
We need your help to counter dirty industry lobbying against laws to protect you from toxic pollution. Take a stand by uploading your picture at the vote for safer chemicals site.
In Europe a new law (called REACH) is being drafted that
attempts toprotect human health and the environment from the toxic
contamination.REACH would provide health and safety information
currently lacking forsome 30,000 chemicals. A strong REACH would
drive the replacement orsubstitution of toxic chemicals with safer
But while eels might be slippery and tricky to control they
havenothing on the worst excesses of the chemical industry. The
vitalproposed law has inspired the biggest industrial
lobbyingassault ever seen in Europe. The chemical industry is
seeking to weakenit to the benefit of industry and loss of
protection for you and me.Chemical industry associations from
Europe, US and Asia have sentarmies of lobbyists to Brussels,
spreading baseless scare stories andemploying delay tactics with
any politician would listen.
"Don't worry - we'll just test a few"
Some EU politicians and governments are now pushing the industry
line,wrongly claiming the law will cost jobs and must be
"streamlined," mademore "cost effective" and "workable." These are
industry weasel wordsfor the seriously weakening the law to
everyone else. They proposeallowing industry to continue using
20,000 chemicals without basichealth, safety and environmental data
information - that's 2/3 of thechemicals originally under the
Obviously the chemical industry and certain politicians prefer
toignore past experiences with toxic chemicals. Here again the eel
cangive them a little lesson - in history. Many eels tested had
highlevels of highly toxic PCB's - despite the fact they have been
bannedsince the 1970's in Europe. Past mistakes in chemical
regulationare not quickly resolved.
Protecting people or pandering to profit?
The politicians of the European Union have a unique opportunity
toeffective regulate chemical pollution and set a strong
worldwideprecedent to protect human health and the environment.
Will they standup for the people who elected them or will they cave
to in to vestedinterests of the non-elected chemical industry?
Take action against toxic pollution
We need your voice for safer chemicals to show politicians the need to put the public before dirty industry profits.
Help our work for a toxic free future.