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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.


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


Voices from the Ground: : Concerns Over the Dawei Special Economic Zone and Related Projects

Dawei Development Association (DDA), September 2014

This report examines the Dawei Special Economic Zone (DSEZ) project in Southern Myanmar, which, if realized, would be one of the largest petrochemical industrial estates in South East Asia. It presents the results of a quantitative and qualitative study, aimed at understanding the process by which the DSEZ project has unfolded, and the extent to which the rights of the local people are being protected and respected by the relevant States and corporations in the implementation of the project.


Coal-fired power plant and pulp and paper mill site: Tha Tum Mercury Hot Spot in Thailand

IPEN Mercury-Free Campaign Report

Prepared by Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand – EARTH (Thailand), Arnika Association (Czech Republic) and the IPEN Heavy Metals Working Group, 03 January 2013

This report focuses on a coal-fired power plant and pulp and paper mill in Tha Tum, Thailand, which are part of the Prachinburi Province’s largest industrial complex located 120 km to the East-North-East from Bangkok, and 5.5 km south from the Prachinburi River. 


Minamata disease: a challenge for democracy and justice

Authors: Takashi Yorifuji, Toshihide Tsuda and Masazumi Harada, 2013   

From European Environmental Agency Report No 1/2013 Volume II, Chapter 5, Lessons from health hazards Minamata disease: a challenge for democracy and justice.


Sampling and its principles

By Jan  Nezhyba,  Arnika – Program Toxic Substances and Waste, 2013

This presentation describes the whole complete sampling process and how to handle the sampling plan.


Pollutant Release and Transfer Register – Important Tool for NGOs Working on Chemicals

Powerpoint Presentation from the IPEN General Assembly

By RNDr. Jindřich Petrlík, Arnika Association

Almaty, 22 October 2010

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Mercury taints hair samples in industrial, mine areas

Bangkok Post 19 September 2017 | Apinya Wipatayotin

High levels of the toxic heavy metal mercury have been detected in people and the environment in eight provinces across the country where heavy industry, gold mining and coal-fired power plants are concentrated, according to a study.

The findings have raised fears over brain damage in newborn children.

By the end of the third week of gestation in humans, the foetal brain has already begun its formation and mercury poisoning during this early period can result in severe abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord.


The Thai Fish Contain Toxic Mercury

18 September 2016 | EARTH and ARNIKA

BANGKOK/PRAGUE - Everyday food of hundreds of thousands people living in Thailand is contaminated with mercury in various fish species, study shows (1). This common dish ingredient in the Asian country often contains twice the amount of this toxic heavy metal than limits allow. The highest contamination was found in fish from the industrial areas, however, further located and less exposed regions are also vastly affected, even the national parks. “The medical and economic consequences of food source contamination and fishermen livelihood should be considered,” director of Thai non-governmental organization EARTH Penchom Saetang suggests.


Women of childbearing age around world suffering toxic levels of mercury

The Guardian 18 September 2017 | Damian Carrington, Environment editor

Study finds excessive levels of the metal, which can seriously harm unborn children, in women from Alaska to Indonesia, due to gold mining, industrial pollution and fish-rich diets

Women of childbearing age from around the world have been found to have high levels of mercury, a potent neurotoxin which can seriously harm unborn children. The new study, the largest to date, covered 25 of the countries with the highest risk and found excessive levels of the toxic metal in women from Alaska to Chile and Indonesia to Kenya. Women in the Pacific islands were the most pervasively contamina


New Study Reveals Dangerous Levels of Mercury in Women of Childbearing Age Across Global Regions

PRESS RELEASE 18 September 2017

(Göteborg, Sweden) Mercury, a neurotoxic metal, has been found in high levels across all global regions in women of reproductive age, according to a new study conducted by IPEN (a global public health & environment network) and Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI). Women in the Pacific Islands and in communities near gold mining sites in Indonesia, Kenya, and Myanmar were found to have average mercury levels many times higher than US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) health advisory levels.


International joint letter to the Tokyo High Court and Yokohama District Court

Dear Honorable Judges Atsuo Nagano, Masayuki Nakayama and Takuya Hazui, Tokyo High Court

Dear Honorable JudgesYuko OTAKE, Zen-ichro UEMURA and Shingo YAMADA, Yokohama District Court

(13 SEP 2017) - We pay tribute to your important role in dispensing justice and protecting human rights under Japanese law.

We are organizations working on asbestos issues in our home countries and around the world in international solidarity. We campaign to achieve the elimination of asbestos-related diseases and justice for victims and their families.


Thai investors urged to focus on human rights abroad

The Nation 12 September 2017 | Pratch Rujivanarom

THAI OVERSEAS investors have been urged to respect human rights wherever they are doing business and work closely with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

Agencies that oversee direct investment in other countries met yesterday with the NHRC to report on their progress relating to Cabinet resolutions issued on May 16, 2016 and May 2, 2017, which called for Thai foreign investors to respect and protect the human rights of local people.


Govt ‘close to agreement’ to reopen gold mine

The Nation 04 September 2017 | Pratch Rujivanarom

NEGOTIATIONS to end the conflict between the Thai government and Australian gold mining conglomerate Akara Resources are progressing well, with the possibility that the company’s closed mine in Phichit will reopen.


Toxic heavy metals in residents near mine

The Nation 28 August 2017 | Pratch Rujivanarom


A REPORT on the health impacts has confirmed that people living near a gold mine in Phichit province have been exposed to higher than average levels of heavy metals.


Songkhla group vows to step up protest against power plant

The Nation 26 August 2017 | PRATCH RUJIVANAROM

A GROUP OPPOSING the Thepa coal-fired power plant in Songkhla province vowed to return with a bigger protest in September, as it claimed the project did not respect the Islamic faith of the local people and neglected people’s rights.


Asean asked to address plastic wastes

The Manila Times 24 August 2017  

Environmental groups are pushing the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) to act on plastic pollution in the region.

Concerned groups urged the regional body to invest in Zero Waste Solutions to reduce the use and consumption of disposable materials, including materials that are used for packaging.


Residents stage sit-in over new coal plant

Bangkok Post 24 August 2017 | Apinya Wipatayotin

Want 'farcical' EHIA study redone

A group of Thai-Muslims opposed to the Thepa coal-fired power plant project in Songkhla staged a sit-in protest in front of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment yesterday in the hope of halting a project they see as a development disaster.


EARTH surveys the polluted waterways after receiving complaint

23 August 2017 | EARTH Editorial Team

On 22-23 August 2017, a team from Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH) visited the mangrove areas in Ranong province, southern Thailand, to collect the environmental samples after receiving the complaint from Ms Sureeporn Kulmaliwan, a local resident who lives 400 meters from a private company’s waste dumping site.


U.N. Minamata treaty can boost efforts for the environment

The Asahi Shimbun 21 August 2017 | EDITORIAL

The U.N. Minamata Convention on Mercury, which sets international rules for regulating the use of mercury, has come into force.

Minamata disease is the crippling neurological syndrome caused by wastewater polluted with methyl mercury that was dumped into the sea by a chemical plant in Minamata, Kumamoto Prefecture. Many local residents have suffered from impairment of cerebral functions and other serious health problems due to mercury poisoning.


U.N. treaty on mercury owes name to disease in Minamata

The Asahi Shimbun 16 August 2017 | Masatoshi Toda and Masamitsu Oku

An international treaty that takes its name from the Japanese city that opened the eyes of the world to the devastating effects of mercury poisoning went into effect Aug. 16.

The U.N. Minamata Convention on Mercury is designed to control both the use and trade of mercury, especially in developing nations. As of Aug. 8, it had been ratified by 74 nations and regions.

"I want to tell people that the Minamata disease has not ended and mercury problems should be dealt with properly in all nations," Sakamoto said at an Aug. 16 news conference in Minamata. "I felt at one time about how much


Halted waste-to-energy operator considers lawsuit

Bangkok Post 16 August 2017

TAK - The operator of a waste-to-energy plant is threatening to sue the tambon Mae Ku municipal office in Mae Sot district for suspending its operation last month, saying it did not pollute the environment as alleged.

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