Thailand 2019

22.11.2019 - THAILAND

The Khok Sa-ad community in the Kalasin province in North-East Thailand became infamous by being the dumping site of e-waste from all of Thailand. Moreover, this town became the final destination of lots of e-waste from all around the world, possibly including the Czech Republic. 

E-waste from abroad isn't being taken here anymore after the Thai government banned its import, but local residents still dismantle old televisions, fridges or fans in insufficient conditions and with little to no protection. Some plastics from these products are treated with flame retardants. They end up either in a hall, where they are sorted, crushed and taken to a plastic recycling facility in Khon Kaen, or they are taken to a local dump site, where they are burnt. Burning of these plastics produces toxic chemicals, e.g. dioxins. High concentrations of toxic heavy metals were found in the local environment and in the blood of local residents. Our team will research what other toxic chemicals are present in the local environment by collecting samples. We have visited this contaminated site as a part of a project aimed at helping Thai communities which are in danger because of toxic chemicals. We have also visited other hotspots - places contaminated by waste processing (Samut Sakhon), petrochemical industry (Rayong) or cement plants (Saraburi). Photo: Vladimír Turner

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