EARTH Thailand
PRTR & Community Right-to-Know
Communities in Action
Industrial & Hazardous Waste Mangement
Map Ta Phut Studies
Chemicals & Product Life-Cycle Management
Pollution Hotspots
Corporate Accountability
Policy Reference



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.


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


"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...


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...


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


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.

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Thailand and ASEAN attempt to curb marine debris

Thai PBS 09 July 2019

In an effort to eliminate marine plastic debris, the 10 member states of ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asia Nations) has adopted “The Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in the ASEAN Region” at the recent 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok.

ASEAN officials describe the document as a testament to the group’s joint attempts to address the problem in a serious and sustainable manner.


Indonesia to return 210 tonnes of waste to Australia

Aljazeera 09 July 2019

Hazardous material and household rubbish found in containers that should have had only waste paper, authorities say.

Indonesia has said it will send more than 210 tonnes of rubbish back to Australia in the latest move by a South East Asian nation against serving as a "dumping ground" for rich countries.


Thailand, ASEAN’s 3rd largest importer of plastic and electronic wastes

BLT 03 July 2019

In the past few years, ASEAN has been pushing away the shipments of plastic and electronic wastes (e-wastes) from around the world after China, once the largest importers of such materials, stopped accepting them in late 2017.

Statistics showed ASEAN’s imports of such wastes during 2016 and 2018 grew 171% and a survey by Greenpeace suggested that Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand became top destinations for these items.


Curbing the waste crisis

Bangkok Post 30 June 2019 | Thana Boonlert

Asean Summit ratifies two initiatives to tackle harmful marine debris

The 34th Asean Summit culminated last week with the ratification of two green initiatives that should bode well for the future of the planet.

The Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris and the Asean Framework of Action on Marine Debris aim to strengthen regional cooperation to protect the marine environment. However, environmental advocates are urging all stakeholders to forbid foreign waste imports to reduce marine pollution.


New law in Thailand risks drawing an avalanche of plastic waste

Nikkei Asian Review 27 June 2019 | MARWAAN MACAN-MARKAR

BANGKOK -- Thai environmentalists are pressing Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to slow the enactment of a law they say could create a loophole in monitoring pollution and result in Thailand importing more plastic waste from abroad.  

The law amends the 1992 Factory Act and is set to take effect in October. The amendment was approved in late February by the National Legislative Assembly, the then military-government's rubber-stamp parliament, to create a business-friendly environment, according to the government.


Why waste trade should be on the Asean Summit agenda

The Nation 21 June 2019 | Lea Guerrero and Tara Buakamsri

Asean leaders meet this week in Bangkok as their countries reel from an unprecedented deluge of foreign waste dumping. Yet neither waste trade nor waste is on the agenda, especially considering the summit’s stated theme, “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability”.


'Trash plastic waste trade'

The Nation 21 June 2019 | PRATCH RUJIVANAROM 

Campaigners want Asean to target more than just marine plastic pollution  

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners have called on Asean member states to go beyond a narrow focus in solving the problem of marine plastic pollution to also address the plastic waste trade, as the region continues to be inundated with imported trash.  


ASEAN Urged to Adopt Full Ban on Plastic Waste Imports

VOA 19 June 2019 | Zsombor Peter

BANGKOK - Environmental activists from across Southeast Asia are urging their governments to present a united front ahead of a major summit in Bangkok against a surge of plastic and electronic waste imports that are turning the regions into the world's "dumpsite."

Thailand, this year's chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), will host the leaders of the 10-country bloc for a four-day summit starting Thursday under the banner "Advancing Partnership for Sustainability."


As World’s Trash Floods Thailand, Activists Call for Waste Import Ban

Khaosod English 19 June 2019 | Pravit Rojanaphruk

BANGKOK — Thailand and its Southeast Asian neighbors are becoming major dumping grounds for the world’s plastic garbage and electronic waste. Environmentalists now want to see a ban on waste imports imposed across ASEAN.

Environmentalists from Greenpeace Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines gathered at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand on Tuesday to discuss the sharp rise in waste imports seen by the three countries after China banned plastic and electronic waste imports in 2017.


Southeast Asia should ban imports of foreign trash: environmentalists

Reuters 18 June 2019 | Patpicha Tanakasempipat

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Environmental groups called on Tuesday for Southeast Asian countries to ban waste imports from developed countries to help tackle a plastic pollution crisis, as regional leaders prepare to meet this week in Bangkok.


Ratchaburi villagers sue toxic waste factory to pay for pollution clean-up

EARTH 11 June 2019

At the Civil Court for the Environmental Case on 11 June 2019, the villagers of Nam Pu subdistrict in Ratchaburi province who filed a lawsuit against the industrial waste treatment plant, Wax Garbage Recycle Center Company, refused to put further mediation process with the company.

Suffering repeatedly for nearly two decades, the villagers said they started to notice water contamination in their area in 2001, the same time as the company began its operation.


Environmental campaigners urge new govt to focus on sustainable development

The Nation 07 June 2019 | PRATCH RUJIVANAROM

Environmental campaigners are urging the new government to overhaul what they see as its “overly pro-industrial investment policy” and move the country down the path of sustainable development, in order to protect its citizens and the country from costly environmental and health damages.

Penchom Saetang, director of EARTH, said that despite Thailand’s “quite good” environmental protection law, the country’s environmental protection standards had recently been significantly downgraded to a worrisome level, as many laws and regulations were changed to make it easier to construct factories.


New factories 'dodging green rules'

Bangkok Post 07 June 2019 | Thana Boonlert

Locals near plants suffer, forum told

Given loopholes in laws, construction of new factories has kicked off before their environmental impact report has been finished which in many cases has caused environmental problems for locals, a seminar was told on Thursday.

Penchom Saetang, director of Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand (EARTH), said work began on building many factories before the Office of the National Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (Onep) had finished reviewing the reports.


Laem Chabang Port fire damage exceeds Bt100m

The Nation 28 May 2019 | Pratch Rujivanarom

LOSSES from the huge fire and chemical spill at Laem Chabang Seaport in Chon Buri province on Saturday are estimated to be more than Bt100 million, while environmental campaigners have urged the authorities to demand compensation from the wrongdoers for damage to public health and the environment.

Penchom Saetang, director of Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (Earth), insisted that the authorities should press for compensation from the owners of the shipment to remedy the damage to people’s health and the ecosystem.


Activists up in arms over new factory law

The Nation 20 February 2019 | PRATCH RUJIVANAROM


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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