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WECF calls on new European Members of Parliament

Support a strong chemicals legislation (REACH) to protect our health

16.07.2004 |Sylvia Altamira

What European Women Want for their MEPs

WECF published an appeal in the European Parliament News Magazin. WECF calls on the new European Members of Parliament who will start their work this fall, many of them from the 10 new European Members States , to  work for a strong chemicals policy:

What Women in Europe Want from their MEPs!

Women in Europe are very concerned at the increasing evidence that immune diseases, breast cancer, asthma, behavioural and learning disorders (in children) are on the rise.

Our markets are flooded by products made with synthetic chemicals and our bodies carry an increasing burden of at least 300 of these chemicals. Some are proven hazardous substances that disrupt hormones, persist in the environment, bio-accumulate (build up in body fat), and/or cause cancer. However, there is evidence that many others may cause harm but we donít know for sure because they havenít been adequately safety tested.

As women whose bodies have been contaminated without our knowledge or consent, we pass these chemicals on to our children in the most vulnerable phase of their development - before birth. These chemicals can damage the development of their brains and bodies. There are clear signals in our society of increasing allergies, immune diseases, cancer, learning, concentration and behavioural problems in our children. Research shows all these can be linked to damage in early development by chemicals.

Each year 10,000 - 20,000 children are born in the Netherlands with such high levels of toxic chemicals (from exposure during prenatal development), that they exceed World Health Organisation (WHO) acceptable standards of safety, and are at risk of suffering adverse mental and/or physical health effects.

When the REACH chemicals policy was drafted in 2001, there was consensus that existing policies did not sufficiently protect health or the environment. Since then the political commitment has crumbled in the face of misleading industry lobbying. The fact is health and environmental benefits far outweigh costs and industry arguments are exaggerated.

How much is our health and that of future generations worth? 

We call on MEPs to:

  • resist industry pressure and to enact forward-looking policies that put people before short-term profit by ensuring the protection of vulnerable groups.
  • back safety assessment standards that fully protect vulnerable groups, like women and children.
  • make it a duty of care for governments and industry to  phase out and substitute all chemicals that accumulate in our bodies or the environment, and those that disrupt hormones .
  • Stop the contamination of our bodies by enacting a strong REACH!

Women In Europe For A Common Future
Contact Person: Sylvia Altamira
Tel : +31 6 22950027