AKTUELLES | NEWS
TWITTER CHAT ON UNFCCC GENDER DECISION
Highlights of the Twitter chat with Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Excecutive Secretary, are compiled in storify now. The chat was organised by GGCA and aimed at discussing the key...
PUBLICATION GREEN AND CARING ECONOMY
The documentation of the the workshop, its background and results as well as additional contributions from participants, is now available for download.
MOMENTUM FOR CHANGE: WOMEN FOR RESULTS
On March 8, the International Women’s Day, the UNFCCC Secretariat launched the call for applications for Momentum for Change: Women for Results.
Scientists of the University of Frankfurt (Germany) found a pollution of mineral water with environmental hormones. The analysis used twenty mineral water brands – twelve of them had increased values of hormones. ”We didn’t expect to find such a high contamination with oestrogen in food which is controlled on such a high level! Hormones in mineral water are comparable with the quality of clarification plant water!” Mr. Wagner said, one of the scientists. There is the possibility, that part of the hormones comes out of the plastic bottles. At the moment it´s not possible to estimate the risk for health The results are released in the journal ”Environmental Science and Pollution Research”.
US scientists of the University of California substantiate, that Perfluorinated Chemicals, which are used for the fabrication of tensids and emulsifiers and exist in food packaging, clothes, cushion, carpets and hygiene products take effects on fertility. The test used information about 1240 pregnant women and devepoled the result that women with a low level of Perfluorinated Chemicals in there blood get pregnant earlier than women with a higher level of chemicals. Thus a connection between Perfluorinated Chemicals and constricted fertility is attested. Perhaps the fertility of men can be affected in the same way. For more information look at Oxford Journal ”Human Reproduction”.
High contamination of exhaust emissions at the beginning and at the end of pregnancy affords a less growth for the foetus. Scientists of the University of Medicine and Dentistry / New Jersey compared the data of 200.000 babies with the measured values of the Environmental Protection Agency. The result: the more the emission contamination during the pregnancy the bigger was the probability of deficiency symptoms. Other factors like smoking, ageing, feeding of the mother are relevant too, but the connection between air pollution and less growth were highly visible.
That rising levels of breast cancer do have a link to environmental risks has been repeatedly shown by scientists. Now this comes to be recognized by EU politicians, too: In April 2008, the European Parliament has passed a resolution seeking to establish an EU Cancer Task Force on combating cancer, with an overwhelming majority of MPs agreeing to amendments proposed by British Green MEP Caroline Lucas that highlight the environmental causes behind the disease. WECF, a women's organisation on health and the environment, has collected scientific evidence for the connections between breast cancer and environmental factors including toxic chemicals found in household goods, pesticides and poor air quality in its brochure "Linking breast cancer and our environment" that can be downloaded from their website.
The Swedish Chemicals Agency KemI has come to the conclusion that "there is a considerable lack of knowledge about possible gender differences in the exposure to and health effects of chemicals". In its report which is in Swedish with an Englsh summary, KemI suggests studies within four research areas:
- Guidelines for testing of chemicals and analyses of existing data from epidemiological studies, experimental long-term studies and toxicokinetic studies.
- Hormone-disrupting substances and the significance of exposure during early development.
- Studies of how men and women are exposed to and affected by chemicals, for example, in the everyday environment and in the work environment.
- Gender perspective on risk assessment and risk management of chemicals and, thus, an interdisciplinary way of working.
This came when in autumn 2007 the Swedish Research Council Formas announced a strategic research undertaking on environmental toxins and gender differences. 10 million SEK (about 1 million EUR) have been set apart for different studies during the next three to four years.
The Women's Environmental Network WEN has carried out a literature review of more than 140 scientific and social research papers concerning "Gender and Environmental Chemicals". The report shows how multiple factors interplay to make women and men differently vulnerable to the effects of synthetic chemicals. Furthermore, the study showed that the widespread perception that women care more about the environment than men is by no means a "natural" fact: The degree of environmental awareness is, according to WEN's data, linked to a feminist consciousness, not to the gender of the person. An additional focus group study highlights ways to better women's involvement into environmental decision-making.