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A Toxics-Free Future



Impact of heavy metals from Balkan power plants on inhabitants and the environment

This project by Arnika Association, entitled 'Impact of heavy metals from Balkan power plants on inhabitants and the environment', focuses on the presentation and discussion of data related to contamination by heavy metals at selected locations in the Balkans. Sampling teams conducted monitoring in the field to obtain data about the impacts of coal fired power plants from emissions and releases (including ash ponds and dumps). The sampled sites were located in Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia.

Mapping toxics in surrounding of Phuket as a contribution to global debate about POPs in wastes

As an international tourist destination, Phuket currently attracts around two million visitors each year who contribute nearly 120 tons of solid waste each day. The Thai government, in violation of several environmental laws, operates a massive waste incinerator to treat this waste. No alternative or recycling system has ever been discussed.

Toxic contamination of surface water reservoirs and small farms located in the vicinity of chemical enterprises which are sources of POPs and heavy metal pollution in Dzerjinsk

In this project, Eco-SPES collected water and bottom deposits from minor water bodies (lakes, rivers, channels), as well as soil samples, to measure toxic metals and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). This was a unique undertaking, as these types of samples have not been collected for analysis before; or, at least not within the past 20 to 30 years. Additionally, it was a particularly relevant project, as preparations for the planned raising of the water level in Cheboksary Water Reservoir at the Volga were occuring.

Raising public awareness and generation of new data about HG pollution in Albania

Eden Centre identified two hot spots with high levels of mercury contamination. At one of these sites, a former Soda-PVC plant, fish and human hair samples were taken and analyzed for mercury content. Results of these samples are forthcoming. The other site was used as the basis for a short investigative film produced by Eden Centre that was shown to local residents in two public events. Success of this film in raising awareness has spurred other NGOs to use the film at their events.

Waste Incineration Residues, a Significant Source of POPs in the Czech Republic

In an effort to create public awareness about illegal waste incineration in the Czech Republic as well as the larger issue of waste incineration residues in general, Arnika conducted several activities. The first involved sampling for PCB, dioxins, and PAH residues at a waste site and making the results public through mass media. Subsequently, a workshop on POPs wastes and waste incineration was organized for Czech NGOs, with 22 participants. A joint declaration from the workshop was created, as well as the formation of a new network.

Information booklet on POPs for greater community participation in the issues in India

In 2011, the government of India submitted its National Implementation Plan (NIP) for persistent organic pollutants. Toxics Link, in an effort to bring a better understanding of this to interested stakeholders, prepared an easy-to-use and understand informational sheet that explains how the NIP is related to current issues on dioxin, furans and DDT use, as well as how the NIP is aligned with the Stockholm Convention.