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Green Baby Day 2024

Calling for a toxic-free future for our children on 12 June 2024
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Feet of toddler among flowers

Wen, the Women’s Environmental Network, is calling for a sustainable and toxic-free future for babies and children on Green Baby Day, 12 June 2024.

The Green Baby survey from Wen shows parents are concerned about toxic chemicals in baby products, with nine out of 10 (90%) concerned or very concerned they can harm health.

Respondents thought harmful chemicals in baby products should be banned (89%) or assumed they had been already (11%), with over three-quarters (77%) thinking the UK government is not doing enough to protect us from harmful chemicals.

The vast majority (95%) of the respondents to the online survey thought we have a right to a toxic-free future and exposure to toxic chemicals, air pollution and the impacts of climate change are top concerns in relation to babies’ and children’s health.

Spotlight on toxic chemicals

This is the second year of Wen’s Green Baby campaign, and the focus for Green Baby Day 2024 is toxic chemicals, especially those present in baby products.

The campaign is calling for toxic chemicals to be on the public health agenda, while also ensuring governments and companies safeguard our health and that of future generations.

Another goal of Green Baby Day, supported by Weleda, is to help parents and carers to make healthy, eco-friendly and affordable choices to minimise exposure to toxic chemicals.

It’s drawing attention to the need to ensure effective chemicals regulation to protect current and future generations, especially post Brexit.

UK at a ‘standstill’

A review of UK Chemicals regulations three years post Brexit reveals the UK is virtually at a standstill when it comes to banning and regulating toxic chemicals.

In some areas the UK has gone backwards, meaning EU citizens are better protected than we are in Britain. Wen and Weleda believe we deserve better.

‘We are sleepwalking into the next health emergency, with the government and business ignoring the clear link between exposure to toxic chemicals and adverse health impacts for babies and children. The developing foetus is particularly sensitive to even minute levels of certain chemicals that can cause cancers, birth defects and reduce fertility.

‘The UK now lags behind in regulation of toxic chemicals and so it is key that we lobby our governments and policymakers to make the right decisions to keep us safe.’

HELEN LYNN
Wen’s expert health advisor

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

There are tens of thousands of chemicals in regular commercial use, many with little health and safety information, with the potential to harm health, fertility, the health of children and future
generations.

Children are particularly vulnerable, but to the developing foetus even small exposures can have serious and lifelong health consequences – especially at specific times during pregnancy.

‘Of particular concern to Weleda, as a pregnancy and baby skin care manufacturer, are the Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) found in personal care products, which have the potential not only to negatively impact our own hormones (for example thyroid health) but that of future generations. For example the EDC triclosan can still be found in some antibacterial washes and oral care products – exposure during pregnancy is of particular concern as it has been shown to cross the placenta.’

JAYN STERLAND
Managing director of Weleda UK

Panel on toxic chemicals

Green Baby Day will be marked by a discussion panel asking ‘Why aren’t toxic chemicals on the public health agenda?’, taking place at 18.00 on 12 June at Amnesty International in London.

High-profile speakers include obstetrician and scientific advisor to Global Black Maternal Health and Tommy’s Charity, Dr Karen Joash; Green Party peer Baroness Natalie Bennett; Seyi Falodun-
Liburd from We Level Up; Susanne Astic, policy and advocacy advisor on Children’s Rights and Chemicals, CRIN. The panel will be chaired by Wen’s expert health advisor Helen Lynn.

The event will include a Q&A session stalls, food and refreshments. Tickets are available here.

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