EARTH Thailand
PRTR & Community Right-to-Know
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Industrial & Hazardous Waste Mangement
Map Ta Phut Studies
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Toxic Impressions: BPA in thermal paper

A report by Toxics Link, 2017

Thermal papers are widely used to print the sale receipts in various sectors like grocery stores, gas stations and bank ATMs to ensure fast and accurate services. This paper is also used by the ticketing agencies, lottery systems and other businesses, which require accurate and high volume printouts.

In this study, twelve unused thermal paper samples from both known and local brands of different manufacturers and suppliers were randomly collected from different markets in New Delhi. We found BPA in concentration between 300 ppm and 6600 ppm in thermal papers with the average levels of 3037 ppm, which is exceedingly high and can have serious adverse impacts on human health and environment.


POPs at four Thai pollution hot-spots: Map Ta Phut, Samut Sakhon, Tha Tum, and Khon Kaen

Author: Václav Mach, PhD.

Supporting data: RNDr. Jindřich Petrlík, Akarapon Teebthaisong, Autthaporn Ritthichat

Arnika – Toxics and Waste Programme, and Ecological Alert and Recovery - Thailand (EARTH), November 2017

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are toxic chemicals that persist over long periods of time in the environment. This study is focused on the presentation of data related to contamination by POPs in 4 hotspot areas in Thailand: The Map Ta Phut industrial complex, the Samut Sakhon hotspot area, the Tha Tum industrial complex, and the Pulp and Paper industrial area near Khon Kaen. 


Chicken eggs as an indicator of POPs pollution in Thailand

Author: RNDr. Jindrich Petrlik

Supporting data: Akarapon Teebthaisong, Atthaporn Ritthichat

Bangkok, Prague, November 2017

In this study, we present the results of monitoring free-range chicken eggs from selected sites in Thailand which are contaminated by persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Free-range chicken eggs were used for monitoring levels of contamination by POPs in various locations in many previous studies. Eggs have been found to be sensitive indicators of POP contamination in soils or dust and are a significant exposure pathway from soil pollution to humans. 


Tackling mercury pollution in the EU and worldwide

Science for Environment Policy, In-depth report 15, written and edited by the Science Communication Unit, University of the West of England (UWE), November 2017

This In-Depth Report from Science for Environment Policy summarises the latest scientific studies and research results on mercury pollution in the global environment. Of the many aspects of mercury pollution, five main topics are addressed: Mercury sources and impacts; Mercury cycling: movement and deposition; Monitoring and modelling approaches; Reduction, treatment and storage; and The Minamata Convention on Mercury and the EU mercury policy.


Mercury in fish from industrial sites in Thailand

By Jana Tremlova | September 2017

Arnika Association, Czech Republic and Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH)

This study is to interpret a data set obtained from an environmental sampling in different parts of Thailand that was carried out in February/March 2016 and February 2017. Samples originated from various sites which some of them served as control areas without any known sources of pollution and some samples originated from highly industrialized areas. Collected samples of fish and sediments were analyzed for content of mercury and methylmercury, secondary also for the content of some selected risk elements and data were further discussed and compared to national and international legal standards.


Mercury in Women of Child-bearing Age in 25 Countries

September 2017 | Lee Bell (Lead author)

Contributing authors: David Evers, Sarah Johnson, Kevin Regan, Joe DiGangi, Jennifer Federico, Jan Samanek

Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI), Maine, USA; IPEN, Göteborg, Sweden; Arnika Association, Prague, Czech Republic

Mercury is a potent neurotoxin, especially to the developing brain, and can affect the developing fetus months after the mother’s exposure. The harmful effects that can be passed from the mother to the fetus when the mother’s mercury levels exceed 1 ppm include neurological impairment, IQ loss, and damage to the kidneys


Toxic Ash Poisons Our Food Chain

Arnika, National Toxics Network and IPEN, Toxic Ash Poisons Our Food Chain, April 2017

This extensive new report was prepared to address a major source of POPs contamination of the environment that is often overlooked, underestimated or incorrectly classified in risk assessments, exposure scenarios and regulatory controls on waste. Ash and other residues from waste incineration contain dioxins, furans (PCDD/Fs) and a range of other highly toxic POPs at levels which are a threat to human health and the environment. Current management practices and regulatory threshold levels for POPs that contaminate incinerator residues are not preventing releases of POPs into agricultural settings, the food chain and the broader environment.


Pops Recycling Contaminates Children's Toys with Toxic Flame Retardants

IPEN & Arnika, April 2017

Recycling plastics containing toxic flame retardant chemicals found in electronic waste results in contamination of new plastic children’s toys and related products. The substances include octabromodiphenyl ether (OctaBDE), deca-bromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE), and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD). This study found all three toxic chemicals in recycled plastic children’s products. In a survey of products from 26 countries, 90% of the samples contained OctaBDE or DecaBDE. Nearly half of them (43%) contained HBCD. Recycling materials that contain persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and other toxic substances contaminates new products, continues human and environmental exposure, and undermines the credibility of recycling.


Global Lead Paint Elimination Report

IPEN, October 2016

Lead is a toxic metal that causes adverse effects on both human health and the environment. While lead exposure is harmful to adults, lead exposure harms children at much lower levels, and the health effects are generally irreversible and can have a lifelong impact. The younger the child, the more harmful lead can be, and children with nutritional deficiencies absorb ingested lead at an increased rate. The human fetus is the most vulnerable, and a pregnant woman can transfer lead that has accumulated in her body to her developing child. Lead is also transferred through breast milk when lead is present in a nursing mother.


Transnational Investments and Responsibility for Social and Environmental Justice: Lessons from the Industrial Development Policies and Practices of Japan and Thailand

Author: Zaw Aung, October 2016

Transnational investments shifted increasingly from industrialized to industrializing countries when economic globalization accelerated in the late twentieth century. Industrialization has been the only viable choice for developing countries to catch up to the industrialized countries and serves as a dividing line between the terms "developed" and "developing" when demonstrating a nation’s economic status. As the world’s developing countries mostly exist in Asia and Africa, Japan demonstrated its extraordinary ability to gain the status of the first developed nation in Asia after World War II.


Increasing Transparency Industrial Pollution Management through Citizen Science: A Report on Thailand’s Waste Situation and Management

Arnika and Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH), October 2016

Thailand and a National Path: Towards Sustainable Waste Management

The Thai government has announced that it will resolve municipal waste problems as part of its top national agenda by targeting the disposal of over 30 million tonnes of unmanaged waste, and setting up proper ways to dispose both hazardous and municipal solid wastes in 2021.


Scam Recycling: e-Dumping on Asia by US Recyclers

Basel Action Network (BAN), September 2016

Utilizing high-tech methods to track high-tech wastes, the environmental watchdog, Basel Action Network (BAN) as part of their e-Trash Transparency Project, funded by the Body Shop Foundation, planted GPS trackers into 205 old printers and monitors and then delivered them to charities and recyclers. The new report, entitled Scam Recycling: e-Dumping on Asia by US Recyclers, revealed that of those that were handed over to American electronics recyclers, 40 percent did not get recycled in the US as expected by customers, but were instead exported to highly-polluting and unsafe operations in developing countries -- mostly in Asia.  


We Used to Fear Bullets, Now We Fear Bulldozers: Dirty coal mining by military cronies & Thai companies Ban Chaung, Dawei District, Myanmar

By Tarkapaw Youth Group, Dawei Development Association (DDA), and the Tenasserim River & Indigenous People Networks (Trip Net), October 2015

This report documents the environmental and social impacts of the Ban Chaung coal mining project in Dawei District of Myanmar’s Tanintharyi Region - the serious harm that has already happened to villagers’ health, livelihoods, security, and way of life, and the devastating contamination of local rivers and streams. Although local people are opposed to coal mining, they were never given the chance to voice their concerns; only knew about the project once the bulldozers started digging on their land. Now the villagers have joined hands to challenge irresponsible coal mining in their area, they call for alternative, democratic, and inclusive development in Tanintharyi Region.<


Lead in New Enamel Household Paints in Thailand

Ecological Alert and Recovery - Thailand (EARTH), European Union, IPEN | June 2015

Leaded paints for home use continue to be widely produced, sold and used in developing countries despite the fact that most highly industrial countries banned leaded house paints more than 40 years ago.

In 2007 and 2008, NGOs in the IPEN network collected and analyzed decorative (home use) paints on the market in 11 developing countries, and in countries with economies in transition. The results were startling. In every one of these countries, many of the paints had dangerously high lead content. In response, IPEN launched a worldwide lead paint elimination campaign. Since then, IPEN-affiliated NGOs and others have sampled and analyzed paints on the market in approxima

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Was Your Smartphone Built in a Sweatshop?

The Nation, 02 January 2018 | Michelle Chen

An investigation of two Samsung factories in Vietnam shows the darker side of the global tech supply chain.

Where did the slick smartphone you got for the holidays come from? You might imagine a remote futuristic industrial park, with robotic assembly lines whirring in ultra-efficient silence. But the workers assembling your phone are actually real people, and the conditions in which they work are far from humane.


Gunshots heard as residents fear smuggling at Loei gold mine

The Nation 08 December 2017 | Pratch Rujivanarom

Local residents have expressed suspicions that unidentified people tried to transport gold ore from a suspended gold mine in Loei province on Thursday night.

Wiron Rujichaiwat, a resident of Ban Na Nhong Bong village, reported the presence of a truck and two lorries driving in the direction of Thung Kham gold mine in Loei’s Wang Saphung district.


Study finds high pesticide levels in local food

The Nation 03 December 2017 | Pratch Rujivanarom

NGOs call for law forcing industry to declare discharge of toxic substances

Recent research has disclosed that serious contamination from persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and herbicides in food and the environment poses health threats to the Thai public.

The research, from Ecological Alert and Recovery–Thailand (EARTH) and Thailand Pesticide Alert Network (Thai-PAN), found that Samut Sakhon had the highest levels of dioxin contamination. The level of contaminants known as polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PBDD/Fs) was 33 times higher than EU ...<


UN rights body criticises Thailand over power-plant protest crackdown

The Nation 30 November 2017

The United Nations has criticised the Thai government for the suppression of a peaceful demonstration against Thepa coal-fired power plant, while domestic human rights groups have stressed that the authorities’ action violated many articles of the current constitution.

The UN Human Rights Office released the statement on Wednesday denouncing the protest crackdown by the police and the arrests of prominent coal-fired power plant opponents. It called on the government to drop charges against all those arrested.


Ministry inspects Samsung Vietnam over worker mistreatment

Vienam Net 27 November 2017

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs have announced the result of the investigation at Samsung Vietnam that was accused of mistreating workers by Sweden's International POPs Elimination Network.

Nguyen Tien Tung, chief inspector at the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said they had sent two teams to inspect Samsung's factories in Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen provinces. 


Contaminated eggs found in areas near factories

Bangkok Post 26 November 2017

The government has been urged to make a serious effort to combat persistent organic pollutants (POPS), toxic byproducts from industrial processes, from damaging the environment after a recent study found unsafe levels of POPs in eggs collected near factories in Samut Sakhon and Khon Kaen.

Though the levels of POPs were not alarming, levels of contamination in eggs from free-range chickens were "rather high", suggesting some types of POPs are entering the food chain, according to the study, unveiled by environmental groups Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand (EARTH) and the Czech-based Arnika Association.


Two New Studies Revealed POPs Pollution across Thailand

PRESS RELEASE 23 November 2017 | Arnika and EARTH

Investigations proved toxic contamination in pollution hotspots in Thailand. It is caused, in particular, by dioxins and other persistent organic pollutants (POPs). High concentrations of POPs were measured in soil samples, but most frequent by far they were found in free range chicken eggs.

The recently released studies 'POPs at four Thai pollutions hot-spots: Map Ta Phut, Samut Sakhon, Tha Tum and Khon Kean' and 'Chicken eggs as an indicator of POPs pollution in Thailand' were conducted by two-nongovernmental organisations, EARTH and Arnika as part of the 'Increasing Transparency in..


Protecting children’s health by eliminating lead paint

SWITCH-Asia Magazine, Winter 2017 | Dr. Sara Brosché, Valerie Denney and Manny Calonzo

In its four years of implementation, a regional SWITCH-Asia project paved the way for the progressive reduction of hazardous paint through some of the strictest regulations in the world, including the Philippines, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia.


New push for potash mining hits opposition in Isaan

The Isaan Record 14 November 2017 | Jirasuda Saisom  

SAKON NAKHON – Local opposition is growing in the Northeast as mining companies are rushing to dig up what might be one of the world’s largest potash deposits. A new minerals act, enacted in August, makes it easier for the government to grant mining licenses while curbing public participation, activists say.


Anti-coal power plant protesters stopped in Kayin

Myanmar Times 10 November 2017 | Naw Betty Han

Authorities on Tuesday blocked residents from demonstrating at the site of a proposed coal power plant in Hpa-an township in Kayin State, to express their opposition to the facility.

The protesters, carrying placards inscribed with “We don’t want, No coal”, were not allowed to go near the plant, according to Saw Eh Doe Soe, one of the demonstrators.  


Thailand faces uphill fight over gold mine closure

The Nation 04 November 2017

Legal expert says use of article 44 by junta failed to take into account provisions under Australia-Thailand FTA.

THE THAI government faces a formidable legal challenge in its dispute with Australian firm Kingsgate Consolidated Limited over the controversial closure of a gold mine in Phichit province operated by Kingsgate’s subsidiary, according to a Thai academic.


Rethink EEC land use plan

Bangkok Post 02 November 2017 | EDITORIAL

The military regime's relentless efforts to promote economic development have merit. But it is not always a case of the ends justifying the means as it may claim.


Critics slam NCPO order suspending city planning

The Nation 30 October 2017 | PRATCH RUJIVANAROM

ACADEMICS AND residents in the Eastern region have slammed a special order issued during the Royal Cremation Ceremony, which revoked city planning in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), as inappropriate during the mourning period and harming public participation.


Eastern locals stand against NCPO order

Bangkok Post 30 October 2017 | Apinya Wipatayotin

Locals in eastern Thailand are opposing the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)'s order to reorganise city planning in Chachoengsao, Rayong and Chon Buri provinces to bring it in line with the government's Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) policy.


High Court upholds ruling on ex-RCA worker redress

Taipei Times 28 October 2017 | Jason Pan  

MORE DEFENDANTS: An investigation found that GE took over RCA before selling it, meaning it was in control when the workers said they were exposed to chemicals

The Taiwan High Court yesterday upheld a verdict ordering Radio Corp of America (RCA) and its affiliates to pay NT$718.4 million (US$23.7 million) to its former Taiwanese employees and their families.

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