BANGKOK / PRAGUE – Pollution of air, soil, and the food chain has reached extreme levels in Thailand, as shown by the long-term measurements conducted by the environmental organizations Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand (EARTH) and Arnika (1). NGOs and the communities that are affected are now asking the authorities to introduce a mandatory system to monitor emissions of harmful substances from industrial plants and factories. Data should be reported in a Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR), an effective mechanism of public control that has proved its worth in reducing pollution in European countries and has contributed to the safety of communities.
According to several expert analyses from the NGOs EARTH (2) and Arnika (3) focusing on different toxic hotspots in Thailand (4), people living near industrial sites do not have any official data on pollutants in emissions, they do not know to what extent the local industry can negatively affect their land, water, air, and the sources of their food, and they cannot defend themselves effectively against the damage to their health and valuable resources. Thai fishermen are noticing an increasing number of dying fish, the main source of food and communities' livelihood. Very dangerous organic pollutants are unfortunately ubiquitous in the Thai environment. Pollution is caused mainly by industrial activity.
“What we in Thailand actually need is an effective Pollutant Release and Transfer Register – to identify specific polluters and chemicals, to establish strict norms, and to collect the data regularly. This needs to be fully accessible for everyone so that we would all have free access to important environmental data affecting our health. It would also help lawsuits to be solved faster, not like the cases of the Wax Garbage Recycling Centre or Win Process Company, which took decades of complaints and petitions from local communities. We are well aware of the importance of capacitating and empowering communities affected by industrial pollution and their role in implementing a PRTR and we definitely want to support that,” explained Penchom Saetang, director of EARTH.
IPEN congratulates longtime colleague Vi Waghiyi, Environmental Health and Justice Director at IPEN Participating Organization Alaska Community Action on Toxics, for her inclusion in the United States' Council on Environmental Quality's Environmental Justice Advisory Council. Vi has vital perspectives and years of important experience to lend to the Advisory Council and IPEN looks forward to improved action related to current and historic environmental injustices in the US.
Quezon City, Philippines - Responding to the brutal killings of nine activists last March 7, environmental advocates pressed the government to ensure that the lives and liberties of those peacefully exercising their constitutionally-guaranteed rights are upheld and protected.
Gothenburg, Sweden - Women are disproportionally impacted by exposure to chemicals and wastes and under-represented in the governments and private industries that are making decisions about how hazardous chemicals will be used and manufactured. This finding comes from a new report released today to commemorate International Women's Day. The report highlights the effects toxic chemicals have on women around the world while recognizing the key role women play as key agents of change at all levels of society.
“Gender inequalities impact exposure to toxic chemicals at all levels. In the boardrooms and where decisions are being made, women are under-represented and at work they often lack safety information and access to properly fitting protective equipment. And as the carriers of future generations, they face special vulnerabilities from toxic exposure. All of these inequalities lead in many cases to higher impact of toxic chemicals on women. At the same time, we are encouraged that women, in many countries are leading the way in addressing these practical and structural inequalities” said Dr. Sara Brosché, Science Advisor to IPEN and lead author of the report.
The new report, Women, Chemicals and the SDGs, was written and released by the global NGO network, International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme. The report describes how both gender – the social attributes and opportunities associated with being male or female – and biological sex impact the severity of chemical exposure and the resulting health impacts a woman, and the baby she may be carrying, may experience. It also provides concrete recommendations to safeguard the health of women and empower women to continue to be leaders towards a more equal future.
Bales of Italian waste exported to Tunisia by Sviluppo Risorse Ambientali photographed during a visit by Tunisian legislators and journalists to the port of Sousse in December 2020 (Credits: Hamdi Chebaane)
Demand for the EU and Italy to Ensure Wastes are Returned Immediately
Wednesday, 03 March 2021
Press Release from Réseau Tunisie Verte - Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) - Basel Action Network (BAN) - Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) - European Environmental Bureau (EEB) - Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) - Greenpeace MENA - Rethink Plastic alliance (RPa) - International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN)
The European Court of Justice confirmed today that the EU illegally allowed dangerous substances for sale in paints when there were safer options – setting a precedent that tightens the screw on companies’ use of toxic chemicals in the EU.
Under EU law, the European Commission and Member States can authorize the use of a harmful chemical when there is no safer alternative available and when the societal benefits outweigh the risk.
Out of almost 200 corporate applications, the Commission has rejected almost none – even in cases where there were significant issues with the evidence companies provided.
The judgment today calls for a structural change in the way that the European Chemicals Agency and the Commission assess whether to allow the use of particularly dangerous chemicals in products and manufacturing processes in the EU.
Selon une étude récemment menée par l'organisation mondiale de la santé, l'utilisation des métaux lourds et certains produits chimiques comme le plomb dans la peinture représente un véritable problème pour la santé et l'environnement en générale.
Wednesday, 20 January 2021
Selon une étude récemment menée par l'organisation mondiale de la santé, l'utilisation des métaux lourds et certains produits chimiques comme le plomb dans la peinture représente un véritable problème pour la santé et l'environnement en générale. C'est pour donc réglementer et mettre fin à l'utilisation de ces produits chimiques que s'est tenu ce mercredi 20 janvier 2021 à Conakry une réunion de réflexion multi-acteurs.
(Quezon City, Philippines) The waste and pollution watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition today presented the “Environmental Justice Award” to Bureau of Customs-Region 10 District Collector John Simon in a virtual ceremony.
Simon, a customs official with 31 years of distinguished service in the government sector, is the lone recipient of the group’s first ever “Environmental Justice Award” coinciding with the national observance of “Zero Waste Month” this January.