Contamination in and around Samet cause for concern

national August 16, 2013 00:00

By Pongphon Sarnsamak
The Nation

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The results of the second test of contaminated seawater around Koh Samet caused by the oil spill have shown that the level of the Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH) is 200 times over the accepted standard, an informed source said Friday.

Mercury levels remain high and the contamination has spread to other parts of the island.
According to the source, the Pollution Control Department collected seawater samples on August 8 to study the level of contamination by hazardous substances caused by the oil spill.
The result shows that as of August 8, the level of TPH was 200 times higher than the accepted standard of 0.5 microgram per litre. 
Meanwhile, the level of mercury was measured at about 2-4 times higher than the standard of 0.1 microgram per litre. Moreover, the contamination of mercury has been detected in seawater surrounding Koh Samet. 
On Tuesday, PCD revealed that the concentration levels of mercury in seawater samples collected on August 3 exceeded the acceptable level of 0.1 micrograms per litre. 
The levels of mercury at Ao Phrao, on the west side of the island, and at Ao Tub Tim, on the east side, were recorded at 2.9 micrograms per litre and 0.25 microgram per litre, respectively. 
Meanwhile, the results of another test conducted by the Marine and Coastal Resources Department, released on August 13, showed that the concentration levels of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH) in Koh Samet's Ao Noi Na was 1.05 microgram per litre, which exceeds accepted standards of 0.5 microgram per litre. The samples of seawater were collected between August 4 and 6. 
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Vichet Kasemthongsri yesterday instructed PCD officials to collect further samples of seawater from around the island for testing. He expects to release the test results on August 17.

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