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Documents

"We Fight to Protect Our Home:” Reprisals Against Environmental Defenders in Loei Province, Thailand

A report by Fortify Rights, October 2018

This report reveals that Thai authorities and Tungkum Ltd. committed and contributed to serious human rights violations and abuses against members of KRBKG and environmental defenders in Wang Sa Phung District, Loei Province. Violations and abuses include the arbitrary detention of human rights defenders and violations of the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, a healthy environment.

Local residents in affected communities surrounding the gold  mine largely rely on farming and the natural environment for their livelihoods and sustenance. Water and soil pollution has adversely impacted their daily lives and livelihoods. Residents have also complained about health conditions...

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PCDD/Fs and PCBs in eggs – data from China, Kazakhstan and Thailand

Authors: Petrlik J1,2, Teebthaisong A3, Bell L2,4, Behnisch PA5, Da M6, Saetang P3, Ritthichat A3, Kalmykov D7 | August 2018

Organizations: Arnika, IPEN, Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH), National Toxics Network, BioDetection Systems BV (BDS), Nature University, Beijing, China, and Karaganda Regional Ecological Museum, Kazakhstan

There is a range of studies on PCDD/Fs and PCBs in eggs1-7. Eggs have been found to be sensitive indicators of PCDD/F and PCB contamination in soils and are an important exposure...

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POPs contamination at ‘recycling’ and metallurgical site in Thailand

Authors: Teebthaisong A, Petrlik J, Ritthichat A, Saetang P, Strakova J | August 2018

Organizations: Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH),  IPEN, and Arnika – Toxics and Waste Programme

This study evaluates the results of the analyses for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the free-range chicken eggs in a vicinity of the artisanal recycling workshops in Samut Sakhon, a neighbouring province of Bangkok, Thailand. Free-range chicken eggs were used for monitoring levels of POPs contamination at certain places in many previous studies1-7. Eggs have been found to be sensitive indicators of POPs contamination in soils or dust and are an important exposure pathway from soil

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Ignorance is Toxic… Double Standard at Map Ta Phut

Authors: Penchom Saetang, Faikham Harnnarong, Sukran Rojanapaiwong

Published by:Campaign for Alternative Industry Network (CAIN)

Supported by: Heinrich Böll Foundation

January 2007

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Thailand’s Air: Poison Cocktail

Exposing Unsustainable Industries and the Case for Community Right To Know and Prevention [Thailand Bucket Brigade]

By: Campaign for Alternative Industry Network (CAIN) / Greenpeace Southeast Asia (GPSEA) / Global Community Monitor (GCM), October 2005

This report gives fresh evidence that the proposed ‘Community Right To Know Law’ and the ‘National Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR) System’ are essentially needed along with better environmental monitoring and direct involvement of affected communities in environmental decision-making with the aim to achieve environmental justice and sustainable society.

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News

Activists up in arms over new factory law

The Nation 20 February 2019 | PRATCH RUJIVANAROM

PROPOSED LAW AIMS TO BOOST INVESTMENT AT THE COST OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT

THE POLLUTION crisis will only worsen if the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) pushes through the revised Factory Act, environmentalists warned yesterday.

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Amended Factory Act Aggravates PM2.5 and Undermines Environmental Protection

EARTH THAILAND 31 January 2019

(BANGKOK) – On 31 January 2019, EARTH, EnLaw, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, and Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Chulalongkorn University held the Press Conference on “The NCPO’s Draft Amendment of the Factory Act: The Hidden Agenda – Aggravating PM 2.5 Problem?” in Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. The forum criticized the draft amendment of Thailand’s Factory Act that will aggravate the fine dust particles, PM2.5 problem and undermine the environmental protection.

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Bangkok faces its very own 'airpocalypse'

Bangkok Post 02 February 2019 | Anchalee Kongrut

As the prime minister threatened to close down polluting factories, and asked some to reduce their operational hours, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) was reading a revised law on factories that, if approved, could make the fight against PM2.5 ever tougher.

The draft has received a lot of criticism. On Thursday, a network of civic groups submitted petition letters to the government, asking it to drop the draft which they said will allow small factories to open too easily and may compromise environmental protection efforts.

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The Press Conference on “The Draft Amendement of the FACTORY ACT By NCPO”: The Hidden Agenda – Escalating the PM 2.5?

31 January 2019, 10-12 am
LIVE from Chulalongkorn University via https://web.facebook.com/EarthEcoAlert

Organised by: EARTH, EnLAW, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Chulalongkorn University

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The Amendment of Factory Act Undermines Environmental Protection: CSO Group Claims

BANGKOK – Parliament House of Thailand (23 JAN 2019)

EARTH and EnLaw, together with local people from Rayong and Phetburi Provinces petitioned against the new amendment of the Factory Act, pointed out that the amendment undermines the environmental protection and lack of public participation.

The petition letter endorsed by 67 civil society organisations and 34 individuals, urging to immediately withdraw from the parliament approval and demanding the amendment to be implemented under the elected government.

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Fixing NCPO legacy of conflict, pollution

OPINION | Bangkok Post 03 January 2019 | Penchom Tang

The military regime's policy to promote industrial development with the use of the drastic Section 44, which bypasses regular laws and regulations, has won a thumbs-up from investors while also intensifying pollution and local conflicts.

The waste management policy is a prime example. The regime made a noteworthy start by placing waste on the national priority list but the policy has turned into a failure when put into practice. In fact, we saw local conflicts flare up in several areas.

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Court fines mining firm B15m

Bangkok Post 14 December 2018

Locals win ten-year environmental battle

The Loei Provincial Court on Thursday ordered Tungkum, a gold mining company, to pay about 15 million baht in compensation to families affected by its mining activities.

The verdict yesterday brought smiles to the faces of 165 plaintiffs -- residents of six villages in Wang Saphung district, who have been fighting pollution caused by gold mining for over a decade.

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Loei mining firm loses battle

The Nation 14 December 2018

THE LOEI PROVINCIAL Court yesterday ordered a gold-mining firm to rehabilitate the environment and compensate locals who were affected by its operations.

Tungkum Co Ltd, which operates a gold mine in Loei’s Wang Saphung district, lost the legal battle as the court believed local residents had solid evidence proving that the firm’s mining operations damaged the environment in areas around the mining zones. 

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EEC threat to water resources

The Nation 02 November 2018 | PRATCH RUJIVANAROM

Experts warn three provinces already facing shortages; agencies look to create new reservoirs in nearby areas.

THE RISK of water scarcity is looming in the East, thanks mainly to a boom in industrial development in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

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Deadly air pollution shortens lives by nearly two years: researchers

Reuters 20 November 2018 | Sebastien Malo

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Air pollution, caused largely by burning fossil fuels, is cutting global life expectancy by an average of 1.8 years per person, making it the world’s top killer, researchers said on Monday.

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Thailand set to be no longer world's e-waste dump site in two years

NNT 16 November 2018 | Tanakorn Sangiam  

Authorities are improving Thailand's electronic waste treatment system, tackling the issue of e-waste import in bid to be no longer the world's e-waste dump site in two years. 

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Why the world’s recycling system stopped working

Financial Times Magazine 25 October 2018 | Leslie Hook and John Reed

China’s refusal to become the west’s dumping ground is forcing the world to face up to a waste crisis

Meanwhile, hundreds of scrap-processing facilities have sprung up near the port, often triggering complaints from locals about the pollution they produce. One woman keeping tabs on these plants – not all of which are fully legal – is Penchom Saetang, the head of Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand, a non-profit group. She counts more than 1,300 companies involved in recycling, landfills or processing electronic waste in the eight provinces around the port.

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Lead exposure is poisoning the future of our children

UN Environment 24 October 2018

As Miremba enters her classroom in the morning, little does she know that the walls of the one place that should help her secure a better future are, in fact, poisoning it. As she playfully chips the hallway paint before going into class, she exposes herself, and her fellow schoolmates, to the irreversible toxic effects of lead.

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Fight against gold mine turned Thai village into 'war zone'

Reuters 23 October 2018 | Rina Chandran

NA NONG BONG, Thailand (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - They came in the night - about 150 men wearing masks and wielding sticks, knives and guns who swarmed the village of Na Nong Bong in Thailand’s northeastern province of Loei, firing into the air while threatening and beating residents.

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WHO urges all countries to ban lead paint by 2020

Premium Times 18 October 2018 | Ebuka Onyeji

The World Health Organisation has warned against exposing children to lead from paints containing the substance urging countries to ban lead paint by 2020.

The health body gave the warning ahead of the 2018 international lead poisoning prevention week between 21 to 27 October with focus on eliminating lead paint.

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