At the end of 1994, the Chlorophiles started a complaint at the Dutch Advertising Code Council (RCC), against a Greenpeace leaflet: 'Chlorine is everywhere', full of suggestions on the negative aspects of the use of chlorine on health and environment, especially against the use of PVC.
Although the RCC stated that Greenpeace was going too far in their statements, they were not convicted.
The RCC states that Greenpeace might use the (Greenpeace interpretation of the) precautionary principle, so they don't need to proof their arguments. On top of this, contrary to the Dutch Advertising Code, Greenpeace must not proof that the alternatives they promote are better for the environment.

The verdict of the RCC is quite strange, compared with earlier verdicts about chlorine products like PVC, where a brochure of the Dutch Ministry of Environment was convicted to be misleading.
On the other hand, Greenpeace was convicted by the English Advertising Standards Authority for their disgusting advertising campaign : 'You are half the man your father was', one of the complaints we had in The Netherlands too.

Complaints of the Chlorophiles which were not honoured by the RCC:

The statement that all chlorinated chemicals are very toxic for mankind and environment, while the outermost part is not or hardly toxic.

The suggestion that there are only a few natural chlorinated chemicals, while about two thousand are found in nature until now.

The suggestion that the problem of dioxins could be solved by banning the whole chlorine chemistry, while the chlorine chemistry today is responsible for only one thousandth of the dioxin emissions. The dioxinproblem is being solved by augmenting the quality of waste incineration and the measurements taken by the metalsector. The alternatives, given by Greenpeace, in general do give more dioxin during production, transport, recycling and/or disposal than those of the chlorine chemistry.

The suggestion that the production, transport and use of chlorine makes a lot of victims. Greenpeace uses a misleading interpretation of the word 'victim' by including all evacuated people, even with a beginning fire which has nothing to do with chlorine. Greenpeace does not compare with the (higher!) amount of real victims by the production of alternatives.

The suggestion that persistency is always a negative property. Glass, stoneware, concrete and PVC are very persistent materials, which is a very positive property during lifetime.

The suggestion that the Paris Commission and other governemental organisations want to have a ban on all chlorinated chemicals, while they only want a ban on toxic, persistent and bio-accumulating chemicals, chlorinated or not.

Presenting advises of several commissions (IJC, Clinton-administration) as would it be governemental decisions, while there are no decisions at all, or the real decisions are more common sense based.

The suggestion that all chlorinated chemicals found in the human body are unnatural and dangerous, while a lot of them are essential for the salt level, digestion an immune system of the body.

The suggestion that chlorinated chemicals are the most important cause of cancer, while science nows that at least fifty percent of all chemicals - natural or not, chlorine containing or not - are cancerogenic at high doses and the lists of more dangerous cancerogenic nitrogen and hydrocarbon compounds are much longer.

The suggestion that all (more than 10,000) chlorinated chemicals have a negative influence on the hormone housekeeping, while this is based on only three chemicals, of which two (PCB's and DDT) are already banned and the other (dioxins) are sharply reduced.

The suggestion that the chlorination of drinking water gives 10,000 extra cases of cancer per year, while not chlorinating in all cases gives an enormous risk and the report on which this suggestion was based is not looking at the difference of chlorination or not, but at the difference between the chlorination of more contaminated surface water, against the chlorination - or not - of wellwater. When Peru stopped chlorination, a beginning cholera epidemic became a disaster for the people there: until now more than 19,000 died and more than 200,000 became ill.

The suggestion that recycled PVC is of bad quality, while short-life PVC is recycled in long-life wastepipes - with quality mark! - which will stand for at least 80 years and without comparison with the problems of recycling of the alternatives.

The presentation of a lot of chlorine-free alternatives, especially for PVC, without any proof that these are better for the environment, while some are obviously more dangerous for people and/or are worse for the environment.


You are at level two of the Chlorophiles pages.

Created: March 30, 1996.
Last update: July 16, 2000.

Welcome page

To the Home Page of the Chlorophiles

Up Greenpeace and chlorine

Right Complaint against the advertisement about "Toxic toys"

For any comment on this or other pages:

Mail to: