Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have received significant public and media attention in the US, EU, and Australia, in part due to their toxicity, extreme persistence, and documented water pollution. However, information about PFAS in other parts of the world is largely lacking and the information which is available is difficult to access.
Over the past few months, IPEN Participating Organizations in twelve Middle Eastern and Asian countries conducted surveys to explore possible PFAS uses and pollution sources, scientific studies and government actions, including under the Stockholm Convention. Countries covered include: Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
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.
Quezon City, Philippines - A toxics watchdog group today announced that it has found more spray paints in the market that are contaminated with dangerously high concentrations of lead, a forbidden chemical in the manufacture of paints.
In a statement, the EcoWaste Coalition revealed that 13 spray paints with lead content ranging from 4,500 to 56,100 parts per million (ppm) are being sold to uninformed consumers by offline and online retailers in brazen violation of the country’s lead paint regulation limiting lead to a maximum of 90 ppm.
“Our latest market investigation conducted amid the COVID-19 pandemic netted 13 more spray paints with exceedingly high levels of lead that can present a serious health hazard over time,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition. “The authorities need to act with dispatch to ensure that these dangerous products are removed from the market and returned to their suppliers for environmentally sound disposal.”
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.
EcoWaste Coalition cautions consumers against mercury-containing skin whitening cosmetics in the wake of 3.3. online shopping spree
Monday, 01 March 2021
Quezon City, Philippines - The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition today released a new report revealing the unethical and unlawful use of online shopping and social media sites to sell skin bleaching, lightening or whitening products containing mercury, a dangerous poison banned in cosmetic product formulations.
The group conducted the investigation to generate data that will help stem both the supply and demand for mercury-containing cosmetics and pro mote the implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which phased-out in 2020 cosmetics such as skin lightening creams and soaps with mercury above one part per million (ppm).
Of the 65 samples procured from online dealers and subsequently screened for mercury using an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device, 40 were found to contain mercury above 1 ppm. Of these 40 samples, 38 had mercury in excess of 1,000 ppm, 25 with over 5,000 ppm, 19 with more than 15,000 ppm, and 5 were loaded with mercury above 25,000 ppm. None of the 65 samples are duly notified or registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
(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.
The EcoWaste Coalition pleaded for vigilance after detecting dangerously high lead levels in 13 new spray paints ahead of the seventh anniversary of the groundbreaking Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Re
(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.
At the end last week of the four-part IPEN Southeast and East Asia Virtual Conference, resource persons from Norway, Indonesia and the Philippines and participants from 12 countries discussed perspectives and experiences on citizen science for generating data and for pursuing policies and measures to promote and protect public health and the environment.
Held amid mobility restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the online conference series was co-organized by the Ecological Alert and Recovery-Thailand, Nexus3 Foundation-Indonesia and EcoWaste Coalition-Philippines with support from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and IPEN.