Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals
Much of FoE's current work on toxics is currently looking at drinking water issues, particularly chlorine disinfection by-products.
Since March 2012 this work has been unfunded, except for small donations. Donations are always gratefully accepted and go a very long way. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
If you have downloaded any of the following reports consider donating now, because the "Well May Soon Run Dry" and this resource will be lost.
Some of our recent work can be located below:
1): Project Assessing Drinking Water Issues in South Western Victoria (March 12 2013) SWVicWater.pdf (664.04 KB)
3): SA Water Project Assessing Health Criteria from 9100 page FoI Application (October 21 2012) SAWater2012a.pdf (1.91 MB)
4): Scarred For Life - Tattoo Inks And Your Health (August 23 2012) scarredforlife.pdf (151.49 KB)
5): Pesticide incidents in Victorian domestic water supplies 1998-2011 (updated July 14 2012) PesticidesVictorianWaterSupplies1998-2011.pdf (2.17 MB)
6): Melbourne Water Supply And Pesticides (June 5 2012) Melbourne Water Supply Pesticides June 2012.pdf (1.4 MB)
7): Tasmanian Water Quality Report (May 28 2012): TasReport2009-11.pdf (1.04 MB)
8): An Organic Food and Pesticides Booklet (Release Date February 21 2012).
Strawberry Spraying Woori Yallock Creek
10) Fighting to stop a $70m Golf Course Development, 1km upstream of the offtake to Melbourne's drinking water Sugarloaf Reservoir. A subsequent VCAT hearing in December 2010, has paused this development, but new development plans are due to be lodged at Yarra Ranges Shire anytime soon. Eastern Golf Course Plan to use 36 pesticides on the course.
See FoE's Submission here: VCATDec10Final.pdf (2.04 MB)
11) Collating a national index of pesticide incidents in domestic water supplies across Australia. (Release Date 2012).
12) A 2010 Water Quality Report foewaterqualityissuesballaratbendigobenalla.pdf (published May 2010) for Communities of Ballarat, Bendigo and Benalla - with emphasis on pesticides.
Ballarat Water Supply (above)
Networking with communities impacted by pesticides used in agriculture and plantation forestry, particularly in Victoria.
Tracking agricultural pesticides use across Australia.
April 2 2012 Press Release: Regulators Fail To Implement Toxic Timber Bans
Some Other Examples Our Past Work
Why do we need safer chemicals?
Anything you buy - whether it's soap or a computer, perfume or paints - will contain a mixture of substances produced in a chemical factory. Chemicals are used for all kinds of reasons such as for fragrance, to kill germs, to make things last longer, make things stronger etc. etc.
But the uncomfortable truth is, more and more research is suggesting that many chemicals are threatening our health with a new kind of pollution that contaminates the bodies of us and our families, our environment, animals, plants, the planet.
Chemicals have been linked to everything from many forms of cancer, to obesity and behaviour problems. The effects of hundreds of chemicals is not yet fully understood.
Our bodies are now contaminated with more than 300 human-made chemicals.
We think that as a minimum first step, chemicals that build up in our bodies should be phased out. The precautionary principle should always be applied in the assessment and regulation of chemicals. Producers of chemicals must be able to proof that the chemical are safe, whether they are new or old chemicals. Producers must be held accountable.
A game of Double Jeopardy
The most worrying types of chemicals are those which are hormone disrupters and/or which can build up inside in the human body. Friends of the Earth thinks these chemicals should be phased out completely and replaced with safer alternatives.
Hormone disrupters interfere with our body's hormones. Our hormones regulate our day-to-day bodily functions and are vital for making sure we grow up healthy.
Some chemicals that our bodies can't fully break down will accumulate in our tissues. This is known as bio-accumulation.
The risk with these chemicals is that it's not known what the long term effects of some of them might be and we would be unable to remove them from our bodies and environment if they were found to be harmful.
So what can you do now to reduce the risk?
Try to avoid coming into contact with risky chemicals - ultimately, though, we will only be protected by tighter laws.
OUR PAST REPORTS ON CHEMICALS:
Bisphenol A (BPA)
Check here for details on this project.
News on BPA, October 2008 - Canada bans BPA in baby bottles