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As large consumers of canned drinks students are being targeted by the scheme

Students rewarded for recycling their empties

An initiative launched last year by Every Can Counts, working with the National Union of Students, is targeting students again to encourage drinks can recycling at universities.

27 Scottish firms have signed up for the initiative to date

Scottish construction firms sign up to voluntary agreement

Over 500 businesses have now signed up to the Halving Waste to Landfill commitment, with a recent flurry of Scottish construction firms joining the initiative.

Cllr Atkins: very concerned about Covanta proposals

Bedford opposes plans for EfW facility

Bedford Borough Council is objecting to proposals from Covanta to build an energy from waste (EfW) plant at Rookery Pit, near Stewartby.

L to R: Eric Pickles MP; Cllr Colin Barrow; Cllr Sir Merrick Cockell; and Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh

Three London councils plan to merge services

Three of London's Conservative councils are considering merging major services to save money, following cuts announced in the Government's spending review last week.

Towards Zero Waste: Jane Davidson (centre)

Welsh authorities to get funding boost

Local authorities in Wales are set to receive a funding boost from the Welsh Assembly Government as it looks to further increase recycling rates across the country as part of its strategy Towards Zero Waste.

Monsanto stung with highest ever civil penalty for GM misbranding

Agribusiness giant Monsanto is to pay a multi-million dollar penalty for misbranding violations relating to genetically engineered pesticides.

US grant free access to toxic chemicals list

Officials in America are giving the public free access to information about thousands of toxic chemicals for the first time.

American health fears over gender bender chemical

Concern in the USA is growing over the potential health impacts of an oestrogen-mimicking chemical widely used in the manufacture of plastics.

Boiling babies' bottles could release dangerous levels of hormone-affecting chemicals

Gender-bender plastics worse in hot water

A study by American scientists has suggested that everyday use of plastic baby bottles could be releasing toxic chemicals which could influence reproductive and brain development.

Scientists probe gender-bending chemicals in Potomac fish

News in Brief

The Harbour Porpoise is one of the species highly contaminated with tributylin

Call to ban gender-bending ship paint

A toxic chemical contained in ship paint is contaminating marine life from shellfish to tuna, an environmental NGO has said, calling on the international shipping community meeting in London this week to outlaw the substance.

Embryos are abosrbing toxic chemicals which their mothers are exposed to in their daily lives

Babies exposed to toxic chemicals whilst in the womb

The latest study showing developing foetuses are being exposed to alarming levels of chemicals via the mothers' blood has found all pregnant women in a sample of over 300 had at least one gender-bending pesticide in their placenta.

Ice one: Inuit men seem resistant to PCB sperm damage

Evidence mounts for PCB sperm damage

A new report has added to the growing body of evidence against gender bending chemicals but has also thrown up a few surprises.

Male birth rates have dropped in a Chippewa community

Industry blamed for massive dive in male birth rate

Chippewas living in the shadow of industrial plants in Ontario have reported a worrying drop in the number of male births within the community.

Brussels feels pressure on gender-bending chemical ban

Over 100 experts on endocrine disrupters have presented Brussels with a declaration calling for further regulation of a whole raft of gender-bending chemicals.

Gender-bending chemicals found in toxic toys

Consumer goods aimed at children contain high levels of toxic substances that could potentially damage their development and health, a report by Greenpeace has revealed.

Ministers agree to EU ban on phthalates in toys

A group of hazardous chemicals used in toys and childcare products is set to be banned following a decision by the EU Competitiveness Council.

Firms grow impatient over EU phthalates ban

Manufacturers of phthalate plastic softeners today expressed increasing irritation and concern over an EU ban on the substances after it was renewed for the 15th time since being introduced in 1999. There is now "absolutely no need" for the ban, insisted Tim Edgar of the European council for plasticisers and intermediates (Ecpi).

Greenpeace does not want the EU to sleep soundly over dust in our homes (courtesy

UK homes contain polluted dust

Dust in homes across the UK contain phthalates, brominated flame retardants and organotin compounds, according to a study by campaign group Greenpeace.

Zebra fish (courtesy

Endocrine disrupting chemicals also affect fish genes

As well as damaging sexual development and fertility in fish, endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) also affect a gene responsible for the production of oestrogen in the brain – with the effects including changes in sexual behaviour, according to a study in the US.

Hazardous pesticides still being used in the UK

The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) has launched a ‘List of lists’, detailing pesticides that have been labelled as carcinogenic, or as endocrine disrupters, or which are dangerous in water, and are being banned or phased out in Europe.

WWF say study of semen levels proves impact of endocrine disrupters

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is drawing attention to Danish research into male sperms counts in an effort to create greater urgency for EU policy efforts to control endocrine disrupters.

Phthalate declassified as carcinogen, but reproductive worries remain

A phthalates banned in the EU for use in children's 'mouthing' toys has had its carcinogenic classification downgraded by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Phthalate industry ditches legal action against the EU in favour of research

The industry group representing European plasticisers has admitted that it will not be resorting to court action over the EU's emergency ban on four phthalates used to soften pvc toys.

European Commission sets the stage for coherent strategy on endocrine disrupters

EU efforts to combat chemicals with endocrine disrupting properties are to include improved use of existing laws, more research and, eventually, changes to legislation.

Soft PVC toys tested by Greenpeace

Greenpeace alerts UK shoppers to the chemical content of baby toys

PVC toys sold by five UK High Street chains have been tested by Greenpeace for phthalate content. Ingestion of phthalates is known to contribute to liver, kidney and testicular damage.

Japan and UK work together on endocrine disruption research

Japan has signed an agreement to work with the UK on research into endocrine disruption in the aquatic environment.

Emergency ban on phthalates will be in force by mid-December

The Emergencies Committee of the EU General Product Safety Directive has agreed its first-ever immediate ban. A ban on six phthalates will be applied on PVC toys designed for oral use by babies.

EC publishes details for emergency phthalates ban

An emergency ban on the use of six phthalates used to soften PVC toys intended for oral use by children under 3 years could be in force by early December. Work toward a permanent ban is also underway.

EU science committee discredits phthalates safety tests

Current methods for measuring the release of phthalates from soft toys are unreliable, and substitute materials are not proven safe, according to two opinions published by the EU Scientific Committee on Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and the Environment (CSTEE) this week.

Denmark gets tough on PVC and phthalates

The Danish Environment Ministry has presented a new strategy to clear the national environment of PVC, together with a new action plan aiming at reducing and phasing out the use of phthalates. The strategy annuls an existing voluntary agreement with industry.

Italy bans sales of PVC toys containing phthalates

The Italian Government has announced a decision to ban sales of PVC toys for the under-threes containing phthalates, in a joint statement by the Ministries for Industry and Health.

Endocrine disrupters may kill salmon at sea

A study by researchers with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment Canada has found that past spraying programs against the spruce budworm may be behind the disappearance of salmon at sea.

Japan: Endocrine Disrupters - now on the political agenda

The Environment Agency in Japan held its first major international conference on the endocrine disrupter issue Dec 11-13th, in Kyoto. On the first two days of the three-day event, scientists from around the world gathered to discuss their results and opinions on what action needs to be taken on the endocrine disrupter issue. Report by Asia Environmental Review (ASER).

Japanese water quality falling

Only 75% of Japan's coastal waters met environmental standards in 1997, a fall of 6% from the previous year, and endocrine disrupter chemicals were detected in 94% of the nations rivers, according to new surveys by the environment agency.

Revised EU phthalates opinion causes new rows

An EU scientific committee has revised its estimates of the margin of safety for two plasticisers used in children's' toys, leading environmental groups to call for an emergency ban and industry associations to claim zero risks.

Leading manufacturer replaces PVC in toys for under-threes

Following last weeks decision by retailers Toys 'R' US to stop selling direct-to-mouth toys containing phthalates, a leading toy manufacturer has announced it will stop using soft PVC in all toys for the under threes.

Store pulls direct-to-mouth PVC toys

Toys 'R' Us, a world-wide seller of toys, has announced it will have all direct-to-mouth toys that contain phthalates removed from its store shelves.

Phaseout of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Urged by EU Assembly

The European Parliament has called for hormone-disrupting chemicals to be phased out in the European Union.

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