Sunday, April 3, 2011

Say no to toxic chemicals

We received this news from our good friend Manny Calonzo of EcoWaste Coalition. Listen up, folks!

A citizens’ forum today pressed the national government to implement health-based policies that will cause the removal of priority toxic chemicals in everyday products and their replacement with safer alternatives.

The forum, organized by the EcoWaste Coalition, a toxic watchdog, sought drastic chemicals policy reforms amid growing concerns on the impacts of certain chemicals found in common consumer products that could affect the ability of children to develop and reach their full potentials.

Visiting US-based public health expert Dr. Peter Orris spoke on the need to protect the most vulnerable sub-populations from being exposed to the most hazardous chemicals that can cause birth defects, impair brain development, disrupt hormonal functions, and trigger other serious ailments.

Among the chemicals of concern that Dr. Orris, a professor of internal and preventive medicine particularly environmental and occupational health sciences, identified in his talk are lead, mercury, phthalates, bisphenol A, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (flame retardant chemicals), perfluorinated compounds (water, stain, and grease repellant chemicals), organochlorine pesticides, and other persistent toxic chemicals.

Roy Alvarez, president of the EcoWaste Coalition, said: “We urge the Environment Department and other agencies to come up with strong health-based regulations against known toxic chemicals, starting with the Priority Chemicals List (PCL) that the Department itself has identified as posing unreasonable risk to public health, workplace and the environment.”

The PCL is composed of 48 chemicals, out of which only five have Chemical Control Orders (i.e., polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury and mercury compounds, asbestos, cyanide and cyanide compounds, and ozone depleting substances) that set gradual phase-out plan, restrict or limit the use or require substitution of the targeted chemicals.

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