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A Toxics-Free Future

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Southeast Asia

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/19/world/asia/indonesia-dioxin-plastic-tofu.html

New York Times

The Indonesian government pushed back on an international study that found high levels of dioxin in a village where plastic is burned to produce tofu.

By Richard C. Paddock

 

Today, at the opening session of the Mercury Treaty COP3, Mr. Koichiro Matsunaga, Minamata Disease Patient, addressed the delegates in plenary. In a moving statement, Mr. Matsunaga, who was exposed to mercury in the womb, reminded delegates of the real-life implications of mercury poisoning. Born in 1963, Mr. Matsunaga could not walk until 7 years old due to Minamata Disease. Despite his disabilities, he enjoyed riding bicycles, but in 2010, it became difficult for him to walk because of increasing pain, which forced him to live in a wheelchair. He stated, "Minamata disease is not over yet. Problems have not been solved yet. I do not want to see any more children suffer like us." He implored delegates: "Please take appropriate control of mercury for future children. I need the whole world to avoid causing any more tragedy by mercury."

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/14/world/asia/indonesia-tofu-dioxin-plas...

Plastic waste from America, collected for recycling, is shipped to Indonesia. Some is burned as fuel by tofu makers, producing deadly chemicals and contaminating food.

By Richard Paddock

TROPODO, Indonesia — Black smoke billows from smokestacks towering above the village. The smell of burning plastic fills the air. Patches of black ash cover the ground. It’s another day of making tofu.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-50392807

The burning of plastic waste in Indonesia, much of which has been sent there by the West, is poisoning the food chain, the BBC has learned.

Environmental group IPEN found, in one East Java village, toxic dioxins in chicken eggs 70 times the level allowed by European safety standards.

Long-term exposure to the chemicals is linked to cancer, damage to the immune system and developmental issues.

A small mine on Sumbawa. Miners often dig for ore on land without permission or government permits. Credit...Adam Dean for The New York Times

New York Times - Hidden Cost of Gold

By

CIDAHU, Indonesia — Thousands of children with crippling birth defects. Half a million people poisoned. A toxic chemical found in the food supply. Accusations of a government cover-up and police officers on the take.

This is the legacy of Indonesia’s mercury trade, a business intertwined with the lucrative and illegal production of gold.

Mr. Mohideen Abdul Kader, CAP President

High levels of lead have been discovered on public playground equipment

(EcoWaste Coalition / MANILA BULLETIN)

Environmental group EcoWaste Coalition prodded concerned government authorities to clamp down on firms manufacturing and selling hazardous laced products and equipment to ensure public safety.

By Chito Chavez

Groups vow to keep up the pressure against dumping of foreign wastes in PH

Quezon City.  As the authorities grapple with the repacking of over 5,000 tons of illegal waste cargoes stranded in Misamis Oriental for re-export to South Korea, environmental health and justice groups vow to keep up the pressure to prevent the recurrence of foreign waste dumping via the country’s seaports.

Quezon City, Philippines/Taipei, Taiwan.  Environmental health groups from Taiwan and the Philippines have joined the mounting clamor for justice for Filipina worker Deserie Castro Tagubasi who died from an acid spill while working at Tyntek electronics factory in the Chunan Science Park, Miaoli County.

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