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Documents

Plastic's Toxic Additives and the Circular Economy

IPEN | September 2020

Toxic chemicals of concern that are widespread in common plastic products can hinder the momentum for a circular economy. A new report, coordinated by the Barcelona-based(1) Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC), serving both the Stockholm Convention and the Barcelona Convention, has been produced in collaboration with the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) in order to shine a light on extensive evidence of toxic chemical components in plastics that can harm human and environmental health and impede a safe circular economy.

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Call for a global ban policy on and scientific management of asbestos to eliminate asbestos-related diseases

Journal of Public Health Policy, March 2020 | Achyut Aryal and Craig Morley

Asbestos is a primary cause of cancer worldwide. Global estimates indicate workplace exposure of 125 million people and about 255,000 deaths each year. Of the approximately 300 million metric tonnes of asbestos ever produced worldwide, most will become waste and disposed of in landfills. The recycling and transforming asbestos fibre into a non-harmful product offer a sustainable solution, but a global commitment remains elusive. Urgent action is needed. 

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Lead in Playground Equipment in Thailand

IPEN & EARTH, October 2019

On 30 September 2019, EARTH visited Benjakitti Park and Lumphini Park located in Bangkok City, Thailand, and screened the playground equipment for lead content. In each playground, painted play equipment and the condition of painted surface were documented.  This study shows that 20 out of 24 analyzed pieces of playground equipment contained total lead concentrations above 90 parts per million (ppm), dry weight. In addition, 14 analyzed pieces of playground equipment contained dangerously high lead levels above 10,000 ppm.; 15 out of 16 bright-colored painted surfaces contained lead concentra­tions above 90 ppm, dry weight; and the highest lead concentration detected was 72,300 ppm in a red monkey bar at a public playground in Benjakitti Park, Bangkok.

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Trading Away Health and the Environment: The Toxic Business of Waste Imports into Thailand

Co-Authors: Tanya Lee Roberts-Davis & Penchom Saetang

Ecological Alert and Recovery - Thailand (EARTH) | June 2019

Trading Away Health and the Environment provides an overview of the devastating impacts on the health and well-being of communities in Thailand where industrial waste processing facilities are being developed as part of an ongoing expansion of the transnational business of plastic and used electronics waste and scraps.

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Call for Proposals to support communities affected by industrial pollution

Jointly implemented by: EARTH (Thailand) and Arnika Association (Czechia) under the project: “Public participation through citizen science and EIA system enhancement” (Funded with support from the European Union)

Deadline for submitting: 5th July 2019

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Toxic Hot Spots in Thailand

Authors: Jindřich Petrlík, Alice Dvorská, Václav Mach, Marek Šír, Jitka Straková, Akarapon Teebthaisong, Jana Tremlová, Peter A. Behnisch, Martin Bystrianský, Autthaporn Ritthichat, Penchom Saetang

By Arnika Association and Ecological Alert and Recovery - Thailand (EARTH) | December 2018

The data presented in the studies were obtained during sampling campaigns in Thailand in February 2015, February and March 2016, and February 2017. The sampling campaigns represent an important part of the project “Increasing Transparency in Industrial Pollution Management through Citizen Science.”

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Evaluation of passive air sampler measurements close to the Map Ta Phut industrial estate, Thailand

Author: Alice Dvorská, Ph.D., | December 2018

Passive samplers are chemical accumulators that can be used to assess ambient concentrations in either homogeneous or heterogeneous media into which they are deployed. They are increasingly employed in investigations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) (Shoeib and Harner, 2002). There are various PAS sampling media and designs used. In contrast to high-cost active air samplers, passive air samplers (PAS) do not require pumps, sampling heads and a source of electricity. They are inexpensive and small and therefore increasingly used for POPs monitoring and spatial studies at local, regional and continental scales (Pozo et al., 2009 and references therein).

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"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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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

Citizen Science Vital for Protecting Community Health from Chemicals and Wastes

Press Release | 26 November 2020

Bali, Indonesia/Bangkok, Thailand/Manila, Philippines.  Experts from various fields and institutions cited the tremendous potentials of citizen science for advancing public participation in research efforts that can generate data, which can increase the negotiation power of communities facing chemical and waste pollution.

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Citizen science new tool to empower vulnerable communities

Manila Bulletin 04 November 2020 | Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

Environment advocates are making use of citizen science as a unique opportunity for vulnerable communities to empower themselves with data and information amid the threats of chemical wastes to health and environment.

“Through the years, citizen science has developed into a practical and potent tool for helpless victims who often suffer in silence from the destructive pollution caused by powerful commercial and industrial interests,” Penchom Saetang, EARTH executive director and a citizen science practitioner for over 20 years, said in a statement.

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Online Regional Conference Touts Citizen Science as a People’s Tool for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals

PRESS RELEASE: 4 November 2020 | Bali/Bangkok/Manila

The International Pollutants Elimination Network-Southeast and East Asia (IPEN-SEA) Virtual Conference that is taking place amid the COVID-19 pandemic is co-organized by Nexus3 Foundation-Indonesia, EcoWaste Coalition-Philippines and the Ecological Alert and Recovery-Thailand with support from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and IPEN.

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Effecting change through citizen science

Sun Star 03 November 2020 | Manny Calonzo  ECOWASTE COALITION

THE role of citizen science in preventing and reducing pollution and in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as adopted in 2015 by the world's governments, including the Philippines, will be at the heart of a four-part online regional conference starting today.

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Waste not, want not

Bangkok Post 26 October 2020 | Suwitcha Chaiyong

Activists seek a total ban on Thailand's practice of importing foreign trash

Thailand has become one of the world's largest garbage dumps after China banned waste imports, including electronics and plastics, from foreign countries in 2017. As a result, waste from many countries that was originally shipped to China is now being redirected to countries in Southeast Asia where strict environmental laws are not enforced.

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Call for ban on processing scrap metal with WEEE

LetsRecycle.com 7 October 2020 | James Langley

The WEEE Forum has called for competent authorities to prohibit the practice of purchasing and processing metal scrap that contains waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

The Brussels-based association says metal scrap containing WEEE must be treated and processed by facilities that are officially permitted or certified to do so.

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Thailand Passes Strict Ban on the Importation of Electronic Waste

PRESS RELEASE: 06 October 2020

Strict Enforcement and Similar Actions by other Countries Called For

Bangkok, Thailand and Seattle, WA, USA | Following repeated revelations of the dumping of electronic wastes, from countries such as the US, Japan, and Australia, the Thai government has finally passed a full prohibition on the import of such hazardous wastes into Thailand.

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Public urged to take big polluters to task

Bangkok Post 26 September 2020

People should help collect evidence as part of the attempt to bring big polluters in industries to justice, a forum was told.

Penchom Saetang, the director of Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand (Earth), addressed three patterns of exploitation by developed countries: investing in toxic industries elsewhere, including Thailand, concealing data on pollution, and exporting waste to developing countries.

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Improper processing of electronic waste leads to damage to human health, the environment and the Earth's ozone layer

Press release 16 September 2020

BANGKOK/PRAGUE – Thailand is still one of the destination countries for e-waste from all around the world. To what extent this is the case, that is one of the questions that the joint project of the Thai non-governmental organization EARTH and the Czech civic association Arnika is trying to answer.

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Plastic waste still an issue

Bangkok Post 12 September 2020 | Editorial

When it comes to policy on waste management and recycling, the Prayut Chan-o-cha administration is generally deemed to be progressive. The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry in 2018 made a landmark decision to slap a ban on the importation of plastics and electronic waste which is to take effect on Jan 1 next year. Previously, the ministry jump-started a voluntary campaign to ban single-use plastic bags in department stores and retailers nationwide. Within one month of the restriction beginning, over 3.7 billion less one-time use plastic bag were used nationally.

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PCD chief says plastic import ban could be delayed

Bangkok Post 12 September 2020 | Apinya Wipatayotin

The Pollution Control Department (PCD) has hinted it could postpone the ban on the import of plastic waste for recycling, with its chief saying the domestic supply of plastic waste is not enough to feed the kingdom's industrial needs.

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65 Organizations Calling for Banning the Imports of Plastic Wastes

10 September 2020 | EARTH Team at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

The statement and recommendations endorsed by 65 organizations, including academics, and individuals, has been submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment this morning.

Groups of representatives who are affected by the waste disposal industry have also gathered and presented their concerns outside the Ministry, calling for banning the imports of plastic wastes and proposing 8 key demands to the government.

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Former PCD chief and two officials to pay 10.5 billion baht in infamous Klong Dan case

Thai PBS 05 September 2020

Thailand’s Central Administrative Court has ordered former Director-General of the Pollution Control Department, Pakit Kiravanich, and two former senior officials of the same department, to pay the department about 10.5 billion baht in compensation for damage caused to the state over the controversial Klong Dan water treatment project in Samut Prakan province.

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Forum on “Exploring Ideas Towards the Cooperation on the Sustainable Management of Toxic Waste in the Eastern Region"

Sunday 30 August 2020 | 9.00 am to 1.30 pm at Ratcharoen Satthatham Temple, Grok Somboon Subdistrict, Si Mahapho District, Prachinburi Province

EnLaw Foundation in collaboration with the Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand (EARTH) and the People’s Networks and Partnership on Monitoring the Waste Problems, have co-organized a forum on "Exploring Ideas Towards the Cooperation on the Sustainable Management of Toxic Waste in the Eastern Region” for discussing on the waste pollution problems in Thailand’s eastern region, and brainstorming ideas and solutions to prevent Thailand for becoming ‘the garbage bin of the world’. The recommendations will be submitted to the government.

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Criminal recycling scams 'profit from plastic waste surge'

CTV News 27 August 2020 | Kelly Macnamara

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- Criminal networks are profiting from an "overwhelming" surge in plastic waste being shipped from rich countries to Asia and stoking pollution by burning and dumping waste that was supposed to be recycled, a report by Interpol said Thursday.

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