Expatica news

Toxic chemicals in Belgian ministers’ blood

17 December 2004

BRUSSELS – Traces of dangerous chemicals have been found in the blood of three Belgian regional ministers in tests organised by environmental pressure group Greenpeace, it was revealed Friday.

Brussels’ Environment Minister Evelyne Huytebroeck, Flanders’ Environment Minister Kris Peeters and Wallonia’s Agriculture Minister Benoit Lutgen all agreed to undergo a blood test organized by the environmental lobby group in September.

“Between seven and 14 dangerous chemical substances per sample were found in the blood analysed,” Greenpeace Belgium spokesman Fawaz Al Bitar said in a statement Friday.

Greenpeace said the results followed on the heels of other tests which showed toxic substances present in Belgian homes.

This proved that dangerous chemicals had reached human organisms, said the NGO.

“In view of the properties of the molecules analysed, we can expect to face serious public health problems,” said Al Bitar.

“Since these molecules are bio-accumulative, and biodegrade very little, their concentration in the bloodstream will increase over time,” he added.

Greenpeace say the results support its view that around 100,000 chemicals on the market are not properly regulated.

It wants the Belgian ministers to push for Europe to introduce new law on the issue.

Above all, it wants the EU to encourage the use of the safest possible chemicals in products.

On Monday, Huytebroeck will discuss the issue with fellow environment ministers at an EU summit.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]


Subject: Belgian news